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Full text of "Pictorial history of the Russian War, 1854-56"

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UNIVERSITY OP 

CAUPOt-'NlA 

SAN DIEGO 



PICTORIAL HISTORY 



OF THE 



RUSSIAN WAR 



1854-5-6 



WITH 



, Ijlans, atrtr 



$ngr airings 




W. & R. CHAMBERS 

EDINBURGH AND LONDON 



MDCCCLVI 





HE Russian War of 1853-6 differed from all preceding wars in this 
among other characteristics that it admitted, to a very remarkable 
|V degree, of historical narration during the progress of the events 
themselves. This facility was due to a combination of favourable 
circumstances. More numerously than at any former period were 
official documents made public by the British government, and papers 
relating to passing occurrences printed at the request of parliament. 
More fully than ever before was light thrown upon the conduct of 
those intrusted with the management of the War whether political, 
military, or naval by the Reports of Royal Commissions and Parliamentary 
Committees. It is worthy of note, too, that the parliamentary debates revealed 
to a greater extent than usual the inner workings of government departments, in 
the explanations given by Cabinet Ministers consequent on the collisions of 
parties and the rupture of ministries. Again, the periodical press displayed an activity, 
and diffused an amount of information, never equalled during any other period of 
warfare not only in the fulness of news obtained from all parts of the world, 
including translations of official documents promulgated in the chief European 
countries, but also by the maintenance, at the various seats of war, of skilful writers, 
who traced day by day the movements of armies and fleets, and vividly described 
battles witnessed by them under circumstances of difficulty and peril. Literary 
enterprise tended towards the same result, in the publication of numerous volumes by 
military officers, describing rapidly but faithfully such portions of the scenes and events 
of warfare as came under their personal observation. The facilities of the postal 
service contributed towards the same end, by enabling soldiers and sailors to send 
their simple narratives to home-friends, with a frequency which, in earlier tunes, 
would have been rendered by costly postage almost impracticable; many of these 
letters, made public through the medium of the newspapers, revealed truths otherwise 
unattainable concerning the daily duties, multiplied sufferings, and heroic endurance of 



PREFACE. 



the humbler combatants. Physical science and mechanical inventions lent their aid 
towards the same general result, by supplying steam-ships, railways, and electric 
telegraphs : rendering many things possible wliich were impossible in former wars, and 
substituting celerity for slowness in many others. All these favourable circumstances 
combined to render practicable the writing of a History of the War during the progress, 
and shortly after the termination, of the war itself: leaving to a later generation that 
more complete analysis of events, in their causes and their consequences, which can 
only be wrought when generals and statesmen by means of Memoirs, Letters, and 
Dispatches have given to the world their knowledge of occurrences fully to be explained 
by none but themselves. 

The Author of the present volume has endeavoured so to avail himself of all the 
above-mentioned resources augmented and in some instances corrected by private 
communications as to present a truthful picture of that short, but fearful and 
extraordinary war. While estimating the contest conscientiously as a whole, in its national 
and international aspects, he has endeavoured to be so far as such a character is possible 
an impartial spectator; and while seeking to trace events up to their causes, to 
deduce the probable consequences, or to disentangle perplexities, he has deemed it a duty 
to observe caution in passing judgment on the actors in those scenes judgment which 
cannot fairly be pronounced until angry controversies have been smoothed away by the 
lapse of time, or by the shedding of new light on transactions hitherto obscure. 



August 1856. 



G. D. 





CHAPTER I. 

CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR- 
PAGE 

TRADITIONARY AGGRESSIVE POLICY OF RUSSIA, 3 
THE 'HOLY PLACES' AT JERUSALEM : A SUBJECT 

OF CONTEST, ....... 9 

RUSSIAN PREPARATIONS FOR WAR, UNDER PRINCE 

GORTCHAKOFF, ...... 19 

TURKISH PREPARATIONS FOR WAR, UNDER OMAR 

PACHA, 23 

CHAPTER II. 
CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE IN 1853-4 

FORCES AND STRATEGY OF OMAR PACHA, . . 30 

BATTLES OF KALAFAT, OLTENITZA, CITALE, AND 

GIURGEVO, ....... 36 

OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCHA AND AT SILISTRIA, 4.4 

CHAPTER III. 

ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY- 
DIPLOMACY OF 1853 : THE ATTACK AT SINOPF., 56 
THE 'SECRET CORRESPONDENCE' OF 1844 AND 1853,61 
RUPTURE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WESTERN 

POWERS, 67 

CHAPTER IV. 

COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES 
IN 1854 

FORCES AND STRATEGY OF THE WESTERN* POWERS, 75 
PROCEEDINGS AT GALLIPOLI, PERA, AND SCUTARI, 84 
VARNA : PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA, . 93 

THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA : 1854, . 106 

CHAPTER V. 

HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS IN 
1853-4- 

SCHAMYL, AND THE CAUCASUS, . . . 120 

CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854, . . 127 

INTRIGUES IN NORTH-WESTERN TURKEY, . 140 

GREEK ATTACKS ON THE TURKISH BORDER, . 144 



CHAPTER VI. 
NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH IN 1854- 

HUSSIAN POWER IN THE BALTIC PROVINCES, . 
FLEETS DESPATCHED BY THE WESTERN 

POWERS, 

PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC, 



PAGE 
152 



155 
162 



PROCEEDINGS IN AND NEAR THE WHITE SEA, . 184 
PROCEEDINGS IN THE NORTH PACIFIC AND 



KAMTCHATKA, 



CHAPTER VII. 
CAMPAIGN IN THE CRIMEA IN 1854 
THE CRIMEA, PAST AND PRESENT, 
THE GREAT ARMAMENT. VARNA TO 
CRIMEA, ...... 

THE ADVANCE TO THE ALMA THE BATTLE, 

ALMA TO BALAKLAVA THE FLANK-MARCH, 

SEBASTOPOL, AND ITS VICINITY, . 

COMMENCEMENT OF THE SIEGE, 

MANOEUVRES OF THE FLEETS, 

THE FIRST BOMBARDMENT BY LAND, 

BATTLE OF BALAKLAVA, 

THE TWO BATTLES OF INKERMANN, . 



CHAPTER VIII. 

WINTER AT SEBASTOPOL AND SCUTARI, 1854-5 

THE SIEGE, IN THE CLOSING WEEKS OF 

1854, 

THE NOVEMBER HURRICANE, AND ITS EFFECTS, 
WINTER-LIFE IN THE TENTS AND TRENCHES, . 
THE SICK AND WOUNDED AT THE CAMP, 
THE SICK AND WOUNDED AT SCUTARI, 
REMEDIES : THE HOSPITAL-NURSES AT SCUTARI, 
REMEDIES : THE SUBSCRIBED FUNDS FROM 
ENGLAND, ....... 

REMEDIES ! THE BALAKLAVA RAILWAY, . 
REMEDIES : OFFICIAL INVESTIGATIONS, 
OPERATIONS AT EUPATOHIA DURING THE 
WINTER, ....... 

THE SIEGE, IN THE EARLY WEEKS OF 1855, 



188 



195 

202 
208 
220 
227 
233 
240 
246 
253 
260 



274 
280 
286 
295 
298 
305 

311 
318 
322 

330 

335 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP1EE IX. 

DIPLOMACY, FROM THE DECLARATION OF WAR TO 
THE VIENNA CONFERENCES 

THE QUESTION OF THE NAT1O.VA1.ITI i:s, . 

NEGOTIATIONS WITU AUSTRIA AM) ] RUSSIA, 

THE SARDINIAN ALLIANCE, 

FALL OF 'I III. ABERDEEN MINISTRY, 

DEATH OF THE CZAR NICHOLAS, 

THE VIENNA CONFERENCES, .... 



PAGE 

345 
351 
358 
SCO 
365 
370 



CHAPTER X. 
PREPARATIONS FOR THE CAMPAIGN OF 1855 

MILITIA, CAMPS, AND FOREIGN LEGIONS, . . 370 

THE ARMY-WORKS AND LAND-TRANSPORT CORPS, 381 

THE TURKISH AND SARDINIAN CONTINGENTS, . 384 

BLACK-SEA SUBMARINE TELEGRAPH, . . 387 



CHAPTER XI. 

SEBASTOPOL: THE SIEGE, TO THE FALL OF THE 
MALAKOFF 

ADDITIONAL WORKS OF ATTACK AND DEFENCE, 392 
SORTIES: STRUGGLES FOR THE RIFLE-PITS, . 395 
SECOND OR APRIL BOMBARDMENT, . . 399 
CONTESTS IN MAY : CANHOBERl's RESIGNATION, 403 
THIRD BOMBARDMENT : CAPTURE OF THE 

MAMELON, ETC., 409 

MALAKOFF AND REDAN IN JUNE : THE REPULSE, 414 
DEATH OF LORD BAGLAN : TARDINESS OF THE 

SIEGE, 419 

THE FINAL BOMBARDMENT, AND CAPTURE, . 424 



CHAPTER XII. 

CAMPAIGNS SUBORDINATE TO THE SIEGE IN 1855 
OPERATIONS AT F.UPATORIA, .... 
EXPEDITION TO KINBURN AND THE DNIEPER, 
BATTLE OF THE TCHEHNAYA, .... 
OPERATIONS IN THE SEA OF AZOF, 
SIEGE AND SURRENDER OF KARS, . 
OMAIl PACHA IN MINGHELIA, 

CHAPTER XIII. 

NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH IN 1855 
DISCUSSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS, 
THE ALLIED FLEETS IN THE BALTIC, . 
PROCEEDINGS IN THE WHITE SEA, . 



PAGE 

433 
437 
442 
449 
457 
466 



470 
474 
483 



PROCEEDINGS IN NORTH PACIFIC & KAMTCHATKA, 484 

CHAPTER XIV. 

A SECOND WINTER IN THE CRIMEA 

THE ALLIES IN SEBASTOPOL, .... 491 
THE OPPONENT ARMIES OUTSIDE SEBASTOPOL, 495 
SUBORDINATE OPERATIONS DURING THE WINTER, 502 
CAMP AND HOSPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, . . 50G 

CHAPTER XV. 

DIPLOMACY VIENN A CONFERENCES TO THE PEACE- 
RESULT OF THE VIENNA CONFERENCES, . . 512 
STATE OF PUBLIC FEELING IN ENGLAND, . 517 
PROGRESS OF NEGOTIATION, .... 522 
TREATY OF ALLIANCE WITH SWEDEN, '. . 525 
PEACE CONGRESS AT PARIS, .... 528 
THE PACIFICATION, 533 

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS, . . 538 



APPENDIX. 



I. TREATY OF PEACE- 

GENERAL TREATY, SIGNED AT PARIS, MARCH 30, 

1856, 55! 

II. CONVENTIONS ANNEXED TO TREATY OF PEACE 

1. CONVENTION RESPECTING THE STRAITS OF 
THE DARDANELLES AND THE BOSPHOHUS, . 554 

2. CONVENTION LIMITING NAVAL FORCE IN THE 
BLACK SEA, 555 

3. CONVENTION RESPECTING THE ALAND ISLANDS, 655 

III. DECLARATIONS ON MEDIATION & PRIVATEERING- 

1. EXTRACT FROM PROTOCOL NO. 23, RELATING 

TO MEDIATION AS A PREVENTIVE OF WAR, . 555 

2. DECLARATION RESPECTING MARITIME LAW, 656 

IV. DECLARATIONS ON THE AFFAIRS OF EUROPE- 

1. EXTRACT FROM PROTOCOL NO. 22, RELATING 
TO GREECE, ITALY, THE PRESS IN BELGIUM, 
AND THE BIGHTS OF NEUTRALS, . . . 557 

2. SARDINIAN MEMORIAL RELATING TO THE 
AFFAIRS OF ITALY, 5(J1 

V. TURKISH CHARTERS, GRANTED BY THE SULTAN- 

1. HATTI-SHKRIF OF GULHAWE, 1839, 562 

2. HATTI-SHKHIF OF 1856, .... 563 



INDEX, . 
CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE, 



VI. FRENCH OFFICIAL 
THE WAR- 



DOCUMENTS RELATING TO 



1. FRENCH FLEET IN TURKISH WATERS, 1854, . 566 

2. FRENCH CRIMEAN ARMY IN FEBRUARY 1855, 566 

3. EMPEROR NAPOLEON'S PLAN FOR A CAMPAIGN 

OUTSIDE SEBASTOPOL, 566 

4. CANROBERT'S MOTIVES FOR RESIGNING, . 568 

5. STRENGTH OF SIEGE-ARTILLERY AT FINAL 
BOMBARDMENT OF SEBASTOPOL, . . . 568 

VII. ARMY ORGANISATION 

1. ON BRITISH MILITARY HOSPITALS, . . 568 

2. COMMISSARY-GENERAL FILDER ? S REMARKS 

ON THE COMMISSARIAT OF THE WAR, . . 569 

VIII. HONORARY DISTINCTIONS TO THE BRITISH 
SERVICES- 

1. CLASPS AND MEDALS, .... ,"70 

2. INSCRIPTIONS ON FLAGS, .... 570 

3. CLASPS FOR SEAMEN, .... 570 

4. VICTORIA ORDER OF MERIT, . . . ;70 

5. ORDER OF LEGION OF HONOUR, AWARDED BY 
THE EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH TO BRITISH 
SUBJECTS, 



577 
583 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGE 
1 

3 
3 

16 
23 
29 
30 
31 
32 
41 
52 
55 
56 
59 
63 
68 
75 
78 
80 
83 
85 
89 
94 
96 
. 101 

109 
. 113 

115 
. 119 

120 

Map of Caucasian Provinces and Parts of Asiatic 
Turkey, 121 

SCHAMYL, ...... 123 

Erzeroum, ...... 129 

Trebkond, ...... 131 

Kars, 134 

Montenegro, . . . ... 143 

Tail-piece, . . . ' . .151 

Initial Letter, ..... 152 

SIR CHARLES NAPIER. Prom a Photograph by Mayall, 157 
Duke of Wellington Screw War-steamer, . . 159 

Cronstadt, ...... 168 

Bomarsund and Neighbourhood, . . .172 

Attack on Fort Tzee, .... 173 



Illustrated Title, . 

NICHOLAS L, 

Initial Letter, .... 

Constantinople, 

Russian Soldiers, 

The Holy Sepulchre, 

Initial Letter, .... 

Turkish Soldiers, 

Bashi-Bazouks, .... 

OMAR PACHA, 

Bucharest, .... 

Wallachian Peasantry, 

Initial Letter, .... 

Battle of Sinope, 

COUNT NESSELRODE, 

Louis NAPOLEON, . 

Initial Letter, .... 

LORD RAGLAN, 

Valetta, 

French Soldiers and Zouave, 

Gallipoli, .... 

The Bosphorus, 

Varna, . 

Himalaya Steam-ship, 

Interior of an Officer's Tent at Varna, 

Anapa, .... 

Odessa, . 

Destruction of the Tiger, . 

Baltschik, . 

Initial Letter, . 



PAGE 
Map of Sveaborg, ..... 179 

Riga, 181 

Map of Kamtchatka and Neighbouring Seas, . 193 

Destruction of Kola, White Sea, by H.M.S. Miranda, 

24th August 1854, 194 

Initial Letter, ..... 195 

Landing at Old Fort, . . . . .205 

PRINCE MENCHIKOFF, .... 212 

Battle of the Alma, 216 

Plan of the Battle of the Alma, ... 217 

MARSHAL ST ARNAUD, ..... 225 

Sebastopol, 229 

Balaklava, 233 

Kamiesch Bay, ..... 236 

Plan of Sebastopol, with the Works of the Allies, 

October 17, 1854, 248 

Bombardment of Sebastopol, October 17, 1854, . 249 

Battle-ground of Balaklava, . . . . 256 

SIR DE LACY EVANS, .... 261 

Map of Battles of Balaklava and Inkennann, . 264 

Tail-piece, 273 

Initial Letter, . . . . . .274 

Winter Scene between Port and Camp, . . 289 

Lord Raglan's Head-quarters, .... 293 

Barrack Hospital, Scutari, . . . 300 

Miss NIGHTINGALE, . . . . .308 

An Hospital Interior, .... 309 

Railway at Kadiko'i Head-quarters of Sir Colin 

Campbell, 321 

Eupatoria from the Sea, .... 332 

CANROBERT, ...... 337 

Returning to the Camp after a Reconnaissance, . 340 

TheMamelon, ...... 344 

The SULTAN ABDUL-MEDJID, . . . 345 
Initial Letter, ...... 345 

EARL OP ABERDEEN, .... 361 

NICHOLAS L, as he appeared immediately after death, '369 
Sulina Mouth of the Danube, .... 373 

Initial Letter, ..... 376 

VICTOR EMMANUEL II., King of Sardinia, . . 385 

Interior of an Officer's Hut before Sebastopol, . 391 

Initial Letter, ...... 392 

Bastion du Mat, or Flagstaff Battery, . . 393 

Night in the Trenches, . . . . .397 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



The Cemetery opposite the Central Bastion, . . 408 

Attack by General Mayran's Division on Werks near 

the Malakoff, ... 

GKXKRAL SIMPSON, . .... 

(iKXKRAI. 1'KI.ISSIKK, . 

The Malakoff, .... 

Initial Letter, ... 

Fort of Kinbuni, 

Tchernaya Bridge, ..... 
Entrance to the Sea of Azof, 

Kertch, 

GENERAL WILLIAMS, 

Plan of Siege of Kars, . . 

Hospital at Smyrna, 



416 
421 
425 
432 
433 
440 
444 
452 
456 
460 
464 
469 



PAGE 

470 
473 
475 
480 
485 



Initial Letter, ...... 

Gun-boat, ...... 

Revel, . 

ADMIRAL DUNDAS, ..... 

Map of De Castries Bay, Gulf of Tatary, 
Burial-place of the English and French killed at 
Petropaulovsk, in September 1854, . . . 490 

Initial Letter, 491 

British Military Hospital, Balaklava, . . . 507 

Camp Theatre, outside Sebastopol, . . 511 

Initial Letter, ...... 512 

CZAR ALEXANDER IL, .... 528 

Balaklava Harbour, ..... 550 

Tail-pieces, 576, 581, 582 



Various Tail-pieces, Vignettes, &c. 



MAPS AND LITHOGRAPHED VIEWS, 

SEBASTOPOL, 9th September 1855. ^Facing Title-page.) 

RUSSIA in EUROPE in the Middle of the 15th Century, with its Extension in 1689 and 1855, 

TURKEY in EUROPE, .......... 

BALTIC SEA, GULF of FINLAND, CATTEGAT, &c., ...... 

CRONSTADT, ........... 

CRIMEA, ........... 

PORTION of the CRIMEA, forming Chief Scene of WARFARE, ..... 

PLAN of the SIEGE of SEBASTOPOL, previous to Final Assault, .... 

SEA of AZOF, ........... 

CAUCASUS, and PORTION of TURKEY in ASIA, ...... 

FORTIFICATIONS of SVEABORG and CITY of HELSINGFORS, ..... 



8 
24 
152 
167 
195 
232 
392 
449 
457 
479 




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CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



much as the progress made during that time by 
Russia, in extent of territory and in influence 
over the affairs of other states. In the middle 
of the fifteenth century, as will be seen by a 
glance at the accompanying map, what is now 
Russia consisted only of the grand-duchy of 
Moscow a limited territory in the centre of 
Northern Europe, scarcely known even by name 
in the countries of the West. From that nucleus, 
in pursuance of an ambitious policy, and by a 
series of skilfully executed manoeuvres, it has been 
enlarged in all directions, till it now embraces the 
vast region lying between the Arctic Ocean on the 
north and the Black Sea on the south, with the 
Pacific as its eastern and the Baltic as its western 
boundary. Previous to the reign of Peter I., 
surnamcd the Great, who ascended the throne 
in 1689, the history of Russia presents only a 
succession of savage struggles with surrounding 
nationalities. The ruling authority had attacked 
and been attacked by Mongols, Tatars, Cossacks, 
Turks, Lithuanians, Poles, and Swedes ; and, 
advancing in power, had acquired the title 
of Czar or Emperor. Slavonic in race and 
language, and professing the Greek form of 
Christianity, the Russian people have never inter- 
mingled with the Western nations, but may 
be said, as a race, to partake of that character 
which we associate with the semi-civilised inha- 
bitants of Asia. Amidst the rude Slavonians, 
Peter arose as a reformer of manners ; and not- 
withstanding some grave faults, deserves to be 
spoken of as one of the greatest men in an age 
prolific in distinguished persons. His personal 
history is well known, and need not be repeated. 
What concerns us at present, is his eager desire 
to extend as Avell as to consolidate the Russian 
power. Peter was animated with great aspira- 
tions. Besides desiring to civilise his people, his 
aim was to elevate them to the position of a 
leading nation ; and he lived to accomplish his 
purpose. Assuming the title of 'Emperor of all 
the Russias,' he vastly enlarged his dominions, 
built cities, created a navy and a well-disciplined 
army; and, aiming at trade with India, pushed 
his conquests to the borders of the Sea of Azof. In 
these projects may be perceived the first encroach- 
ment on the Ottoman dominions, which, during a 
period of nearly two centuries, would appear to 
have been the coveted prey of Russia. In 1709, 
Peter established a series of posts from the Volga 
to the Don ; and at the mouth of this latter river 
built Taganrog, as a centre of intercourse on the 
south, whence further advances could be effected. 
He was, however, in 1711, obliged to relinquish 
Taganrog and the Sea of Azof to the Turks. 
Being thus shut out from Persia and India by a 
route westward of the Caucasus, he turned to 
the east. In 1717, he sent Prince Alexander 
Bekcvitch on an apparently friendly mission to 
Khiva, eastward of the Caspian, but with secret 
orders to seize certain gold-mines, in whose exist- 
ence he thought he had reason to believe; but 



the Khivans were as cunning and cruel as he was 
treacherous ; they defeated his plan, and destroyed 
all the members of his embassy. He next sent 
an embassy to Persia, to open commercial relations 
with India ; and here Peter met with that which 
the czars have ever seemed to take delight in a 
discontented tributary to a neighbouring monarch. 
The governor of Kandahar was at issue with his 
sovereign, the Shah of Persia. Persia was weak, 
and was attacked by Turks, Afghans, and Lesghis 
all at once. Peter, in 1722, interfered in the wonted 
Russian fashion : he ' protected ' his ' old good 
friend the shah,' his ' great friend and neighbour,' 
his ' dear friend,' as he called him in a remarkable 
manifesto; he sent an. army of 50,000 men into 
Persia; and ended by conquering and appropriat- 
ing three Persian provinces on the shores of the 
Caspian. After this, the Afghans deposed one 
shah and set up another: this was a favourable 
opportunity for Russia; Peter offered his aid to 
the deposed monarch, on condition of certain con- 
cessions ; and the result was, that in a few years 
Russia obtained a hold on Daghestan, Ghilan, 
Mazanderan, and Asterabad valuable provinces 
on the south-western shore of the Caspian. 

All the ambitious proceedings of Peter in the 
East were, however, suddenly checked. The 
terrible Nadir, the freebooter of Khorassan, who 
made himself Shah of Persia, was an antagonist 
such as Russia had not before encountered in 
Asia. Nadir first attacked the Afghans, driving 
them from all their conquests in Persia ; then 
turned westward, and similarly expelled the 
Turks from certain provinces which they had 
appropriated ; and then directed his attention to 
Russia, who was forced to relinquish every Asiatic 
acquisition she had gained. Thus ended Russian 
aggression in the East for a time. Peter himself 
had departed from the scene; he died in 1725; and 
the treaty of 1735, whereby the Russians evacuated 
the Persian provinces, Avas made with one of his 
successors. 

After Peter's death, the throne was held by his 
widow Catherine. This remarkable woman had 
been a peasant ; her most powerful minister, 
Prince Menchikoff ancestor of the prince who 
was concerned in the events of 1853 had been a 
pastry-cook's boy in the royal kitchen ; and neither 
of the two could read or write. Nevertheless, 
Russia prospered during this short reign of two 
years, although Catherine's foreign acquisitions 
Averc limited to the exaction of homage from the 
Kubinskan Tatars, and of allegiance from a 
Georgian prince. After her death, in 1727, there 
was a succession of feeble reigns, during \vhich 
Russia was too much occupied with domestic 
affairs to attend much to foreign conquests ; yet 
she Avas not idle. In the triangular portion of 
country betAveen the Don, the Volga, and the 
Caucasus, Avere various tribes Kalmuks, Nogays, 
and Circassians nomad in habits, and more or 
less tributary to surrounding nations. Russia 
turned a Avistful eye upon these. She sent some 



AGGRESSIVE POLICY OF RUSSIA. 



missionaries to convert to Christianity the Osse- 
tians, a pagan tribe in the Caucasian mountains ; 
whether or not they succeeded in this, they at least 
made the Ossetians consent to become tributary to 
Russia. The Ossetian country opened a pathway 
to Georgia, a fertile region for which Persia and 
Turkey had long struggled ; and Russia turned her 
attention to this path. 

Catherine II., during her reign from 1762 to 179G, 
was the great representative of Russian aggres- 
sion. Of her personal character, we have not here 
to speak ; but her conduct as an empress towards 
her neighbours, as of vast political importance, 
cannot pass unnoticed. Her tyranny over the 
tribes near the Caucasus, in the early years of 
her reign, was such, that the Circassians took 
refuge in the almost inaccessible fastnesses of 
their mountains ; the Nogays sought refuge with 
the Khau of the Crimea then an independent 
Tatar state ; the Kabardans of Circassia abandoned 
Christianity for Islam, as a means of exchanging 
Russian for Turkish rule ; and the Kalmuks took 
the wonderful resolution, in 1771, of departing in 
a body to their own original territory in Chinese 
Tatary, on the borders of the Tibetan dominions. 
History has, perhaps, recorded nothing more 
striking than this voluntary journey of half a 
million human beings, to a distance of probably 
two thousand miles, as a means of escaping from 
Russian despotism. When, at a later date, troubles 
broke out in Georgia a fertile country southward 
of the Caucasus, and between the Black and 
Caspian Seas and Persia and Turkey struggled 
for its possession, Russia stepped in on her wonted 
footing, offered to assist the one against the other, 
and ultimately took Georgia itself as her reward. 

While these affairs were in progress in Asia, 
Catherine was not idle in Europe. Poland had 
fallen into difficulties concerning the succession to 
the crown, and Catherine succeeded in placing one 
of her dependents on the throne, and overrunning 
Poland with her agents. Turkey now became 
uneasy at the progress of the czarina, for the 
possession of Poland would bring Russia too near 
the Ottoman dominions ; and the sultan, having 
a stock of injuries to complain of, declared war 
against Russia in 1769. England assisted Russia 
in this war with a fleet ; and the results were so 
disastrous to Turkey, that she was driven to many 
humiliating concessions in the Treaty of Kainardji 
in 1774.* By this treaty, Russia secured the free 
navigation of the Black Sea, the passage of the 
Dardanelles, the privilege of having one ship of 
war in those regions, and the acquisition of Azof, 

* As the treaties and conventions between Russia and Turkey 
will frequently be mentioned, the following list may be useful, 
relating to the period between 1774 and 1849 : 

Treaty of Kainardji, ..'... 1774 

" Constantinople, .... 1783 

Jassy, 1792 

Bucharest, 1812 

Adrianople, .... 1829 

Unkiar-Skelessi, .... 1833 

St Petersburg, .... 1834 

Constantinople, .... 183G 

London, 1841 

Ualta-Liman, .... 1849 



Taganrog, Kertch, and Kinburn ; she secured an 
extension of her frontier to the river Bug or Boug, 
assumed the sovereignty of Kabarda, near the 
Caucasus ; and obtained the renunciation by Turkey 
of suzerain power over the Khan of the Crimea a 
renunciation which Russia did not fail afterwards 
to turn to her own advantage. These successes 
were not all that Catherine wished, but they 
paved the Avay for more. In 1776, she established 
a line of posts, including nearly thirty fortresses, 
from the Black Sea to the Caspian. A few years 
afterwards, the Christian princes of Georgia, 
Imeretia, and Mingrelia all on the southern base 
of the Caucasus flattered by Russian gifts, or 
intimidated by Russian threats, transferred their 
allegiance from Turkey to Russia ; as did also the 
chiefs of many petty principalities in the Persian 
dominions. 

The Treaty of Kainardji had rendered the Crimea 
independent of Turkey ; and Catherine immediately 
began to ' protect ' the khan in that extraordinary 
way so peculiar to Russia. The Russian deter- 
mination to obtain Constantinople, also began 
about this time to be openly acknowledged ; and 
hostilities again commenced between the Russians 
and the Turks. Potemkin and Suvaroff poured 
their troops into the Caucasian region ; while other 
armies, under pretext of assisting the khan against 
the Turks, forcibly seized the Crimea, expelled and 
deposed the khan, and slaughtered all the Tatar 
nobles who tried to maintain the independence of 
their sea-girt peninsula. About the same time, 
too, she offered her ' protection ' to the voy vodes or 
princes of Wallachia and Moldavia, and contrived 
that they should look up to her, rather than to the 
sultan, as a suzerain ; the Christians in Bulgaria 
and Servia were also encouraged to revolt, and to 
claim her protection whenever they pleased against 
the sultan all in defiance of any pre-existing 
treaties. The conquest and massacre in the Crimea 
occurred in 1783 ; but there had previously been a 
treaty, signed at Constantinople in 1779, containing 
a few clauses which effected but little in settling 
the relations between the two countries. They 
made a commercial treaty together in 1783;*but 
Catherine did not announce her determination to 
seize the Crimea until after this signing. The city 
of Kherson was built at the mouth of the Dnieper, 
in suspicious proximity to the Turkish frontier ; and 
in 1787, Catherine made a brilliant entry into her 
new city, passing under a triumphal arch, on which 
was inscribed in the Greek tongue ' THE WAY TO 
BYZANTIUM.' Again did Russia and Turkey go to 
war ; and again was the war ended by a treaty 
signed at Jassy in 1792 disastrous to the latter 
power : she was forced to yield the territory 
between the rivers Bug and Dniester ; to relinquish 
all control over Georgia and the neighbouring 
provinces ; and to give Russia a certain claim 
to influence in other quarters without actual 
sovereignty. 

While making these aggressions towards the 
south, Catherine was not less successful in extending 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



her empire towards the west. Poland suffered its 
first great disaster in 1772 its 'first partition.' 
There is much reason to believe that Prussia 
suL^'ested this nefarious project that Frederick 
planned it with Catherine ; and that a slice was 
riven to Austria, as a means of winning consent 
to the spoliation. By the Treaty of St Petersburg, 
signed August 5, 1772, Russia grasped Polotsk, 
Vitepsk, Micislaf, and Polish Livonia ; Prussia 
helped herself to Malborg, Pomerania, Varmia, 
and portions of Culm and Great Poland ; Austria 
appropriated Galicia, with parts of Podolia and 
Sandomir; while distracted Poland had to do 
as she best might with what was left to her. 
Russia acquired 3440 square leagues of territory, 
and 1,500,000 inhabitants. If Prussia suggested the 
first partition, assuredly Russia dictated those which 
followed. Exhausted alike by internal dissensions, 
external attacks, and foreign bribery of her subjects, 
Poland became yearly more and more powerless ; 
until at length, in 1793, the ' second partition ' took 
place, by which the Russian boundary was advanced 
to the centre of Lithuania and Volhynia ; while 
Prussia obtained the remainder of Great Poland 
and a portion of Little Poland Austria taking no 
part in this spoliation. Poland was by this time 
reduced to 4000 square miles. The attempt of 
the brave Kosciusko to restore the liberties of his 
country was disastrous ; it brought about the ' third 
partition,' in 1795, which blotted Poland from the 
list of nations. Austria took CracoAv and the 
country between the Pilitza, the Vistula, and the 
Bug ; Prussia absorbed the country as far as the 
river Niemen ; while Russia appropriated all the 
rest. The large area of these acquisitions by 
Russia is clearly shewn in our map. 

During the reigns of Paul and Alexander (1796 
to 1825), Russia obtained a larger area of country 
from Persia than from Turkey. Paul seems to 
have inherited from Catherine two great desires 
for a road to India through Persia, and a road 
to Constantinople through the Danubian provinces. 
Independently of these, however, the provinces 
between the Black and Caspian Seas were useful 
to Russia on other grounds. During the first 
quarter of the present century, there was an almost 
unceasing struggle between Russia and Persia, 
marked every now and then by the cession of 
provinces to the former. Thus, Georgia was perma- 
nently annexed in 1800 ; Mingrelia and Imeretia, 
in 1802; Sheki, in 1805; and various other patches 
of country, in 1812 and 1814. Turkey had a few 
years of release from open war with Russia after the 
death of Catherine ; but the intrigues in Moldavia, 
Wallachia, and Scrvia, became so intolerable, that 
the sultan declared war upon the czar in 1806. 
Turkey narrowly escaped a snare. In 1804, during 
the complexity of European politics, a friendly 
alliance was just on the point of being formed 
between Turkey and Russia; but Sultan Selim 
luckily looked closely at one of the clauses, and 
found that the Czar Alexander claimed, as part of 
the price paid for Russian friendliness, that all the 



subjects of the Porte professing the Greek religion 
should be placed under the immediate protection 
of Russia. The sultan refused to concede this, and 
war ensued some time afterwards. Turkey was in 
a wretched position : Paswan Oglu, in Widdin ; Ali 
Pacha, in Albania ; Djezzar Pacha, in Syria ; 
Mehemet Ali, in Egypt ; Czerny George, in Servia ; 
Ypsilanti, in Moldavia all were more or less in a 
state of rebellion against the sultan, obeying him or 
not as their inclinations varied. The Peace of Tilsit 
gave a short respite to Turkey ; but hostilities soon 
recommenced, and continued several years. When 
a settlement of accounts took place, by the Treaty 
of Bucharest in 1812, the czar obtained Bessarabia 
(by which his frontier was advanced westward 
from the Dniester to the Pruth) secured the navi- 
gation of the Danube to merchant-ships obtained 
for his ships of war a right to ascend the Pruth 
up to its junction with the Danube procured an 
amnesty for the rebellious Servians who had aided 
him and stipulated for the demolition of the 
fortresses recently erected by the Turks in Servia. 
Thus, again, was Turkey despoiled by its formidable 
northern neighbour. 

The Treaty of Tilsit sanctioned a few juggling 
arrangements, by which portions of Poland were 
bandied about from one spoliator to another ; but 
all these changes ended in the permanent an- 
nexation of the greater part of that kingdom. 
Sweden was destined next to suffer. Taking as 
a pretext the refusal of this state to close her 
ports against England, during a disagreement 
between Russia and England, Alexander suddenly 
despatched an army to Finland, without any 
declaration of war ; and when Sweden thereupon 
declared war, two years' hostilities ensued, which 
ended with the Treaty of Friedrichsham in 1809. 
By this treaty, Sweden surrendered Finland, 
the whole of East Bothnia, and a part of West 
Bothnia lying east of the river Tornea. With 
her most fertile provinces, she lost more than 
one-fourth of her inhabitants. These transac- 
tions were without sufficient warrant on any 
principle of justice. Alexander invaded a neigh- 
bour's country without declaring war ; and when 
the injured monarch resisted the inroad, he 
was punished for his resistance by a vast loss 
of territory. 

A striking parallel has been pointed out 
between the proclamation of General Buxhowden 
in Finland in 1808, and that which Prince 
Gortchakoff issued in Moldavia forty-five years 
afterwards noticed in a later page. In both 
places, a Russian general invaded the territories of 
a neighbouring power ; and in both instances the 
general issued a proclamation to the inhabitants. 
Buxhowden states, in high-sounding terms, the 
motives which induced the czar ' to place your 
country under Ms protection, and to take possession 
of it, in order to procure by these means a sufficient 
guarantee in case his Swedish majesty should perse- 
vere in the resolution not to accept the equitable 
conditions of peace that have been proposed to him. 



AGGRESSIVE POLICY OF RUSSIA. 



It is his imperial majesty's pleasure, that all the 
affairs of the country should have their ordinary 
course in conformity with your laws, statutes, and 
customs, which will remain in force so long as his 
imperial majesty's troops shall be obliged to occupy 
the country. The civil and military functionaries 
are confirmed in their respective employments, 
always excepting those who may use their authority 
to mislead the people, and induce them to take 
measures contrary to their interests. All that is 
necessary for the maintenance of the troops, shall 
be paid in ready money on the spot. All provisions 
shall be paid for according to an amicable agree- 
ment between our commissaries and those of the 
country.' In both cases, the reasons alleged were 
fallacious, and the promises were broken. 

The congress of Vienna, which ' settled' the 
affairs of Europe in 1815, left Russia in possession 
of the whole of her ill-acquired conquests in Poland, 
Finland, Turkey, and Persia. In later years, when 
Nicholas had succeeded to Alexander in 1825, 
Russia fomented disturbances in Greece ; then 
offered her military aid to Turkey to quell the 
disturbances ; and then professed to be offended 
at the refusal of her kind offices. Nicholas also 
iucited Persia to attack Turkey. In July 1827, 
England and France, influenced doubtless by a 
kind wish concerning Christian interests in Turkey, 
signed, with Russia, the Treaty of London, binding 
all three to insure a settlement of the Greek affairs 
of Turkey. Only a few months afterwards, Russia 
signed the convention of Akermann with Turkey, 
in which Russia bound herself to a certain course, 
which could not possibly be reconciled with the 
Treaty of London. That 'untoward event,' the 
battle of Navarino ; the destruction of the Turkish 
navy; the forced acknowledgment of the independ- 
ence of Greece all strengthened the czar; and 
when, after two campaigns in 1828-9, the Treaty of 
Adrianople was signed, the sultan was forced to 
yield Anapa and Poti, with a considerable extent of 
coast on the Black Sea a portion of the pachalik 
of Akhilska the two fortresses of Akhilska and 
Akhilkillak and the virtual possession of the 
islands formed by the mouths of the Danube. But 
this was not all. The treaty arranged for the 
abandonment of certain Turkish fortresses ; it 
stipulated that Moldavia and Wallachia should be 
governed according to arrangements which Russia 
had introduced when she 'protected' them; it 
claimed increased immunities for Russian subjects 
in Turkey ; it stipulated for the payment of an 
immense sum, to defray the expenses of Russia in 
the war; and it allowed the czar to retain the 
Principalities and Silistria until the money was 
paid. About the same time, too, by the Treaty of 
Turcoman chai, Russia obtained immense advan- 
tages in Persia immense, n6t so much in respect 
to the area of territory annexed, as in the com- 
mand given to Russia over the Caspian Sea and 
the Caucasian provinces. 

Russia was not yet worn out with her efforts in 
'protecting' Turkey. Mehemet Ali, the Pacha of 



Egypt, raised a formidable revolt against the 
sultan; and the latter was so ill advised as to 
accept the aid of Russia to quell it. The effects of 
this appeared in the Treaty of Unkiar-Skelessi, in 
1833, when Turkey agreed to assist Russia in case 
of need which Russia cared little about; and 
Russia agreed to assist Turkey in case of need 
which Russia greatly wished. A secret article was 
inserted in this treaty, to the effect that Russia 
would forego the debt from the last war, if Turkey 
would close the Dardanelles against all vessels of 
war whatever, except those of Russia ! 

Russia had now attained to a dangerous position 
she became the ' protector' of Turkey in gene- 
ral. The other states of Europe took the alarm. 
They did not seem to regard as important a treaty 
which prevented any Mohammedan from living 
in Wallachia or Moldavia, or any Turkish army 
from remaining in those countries ; nor were they 
moved by the Treaty of St Petersburg in 1834, which 
gave increased power to Russia in Asia Minor ; 
but the closing of the Dardanelles alarmed them. 
Hence, after many contentions, an agreement was 
signed in London, in 1841, by Turkey, Russia, 
Austria, England, and France, that the Dardanelles 
should be closed against all ships of war so long 
as Turkey should be at peace ; and that Turkey 
should be allowed to call in the naval aid of any 
one of the five, in case of attack from any of the 
others. This convention, as we shall see afterwards, 
had an important influence on the conduct of 
England and France in 1853. 

The last in this series of treaties was the con- 
vention of Balta-Liman in 1849, whereby the 
affairs of Wallachia and Moldavia were settled ; 
but in such a way as to leave the sultan little 
control over these provinces of his empire, and 
allowing the czar to interfere in that 'protective' 
mode which is so peculiarly Russian. 

It may be useful to sum up the gains of Russia 
from Turkey and Persia between 1774 and 1812, 
omitting all mention of those from Poland and 
Sweden. 

FROM TURKEY. 

Country to the north of the Crimea, . . 1774 

The Crimea, 1783 

Country between the Caspian and the Sea of 

Azof, 1783 

Country round Odessa, .... 1792 
Bessarabia, 1812 



FROM PERSIA. 



Georgfa, . 

Mingrelia, . 

Imeretia, . 

Ganja, 

Sheki, . 

Kara-bagh, . 

Shirvan, . 

Talish, on the Caspian, 



1800 
1802 
]802 
1803 
1805 
1805 
1806 
1812 



Since that date, Russia has obtained from Persia 
the cession of Erivan, Mount Ararat, Etchmiazin, 
and Akalzia ; while from Turkey she has obtained 
important posts on the east, north, and west shores 
of the Black Sea, a commanding influence at the 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



mouths of the Danube, and an irritating kind of 
influence in nearly all the provinces still left to the 
sultan, leaving if doubtful how far the latter is 
master in any part of his dominions. 

We should form an inadequate idea of Russian 
capacity, if we imagined that these acquisitions were 
gained "exclusively by the valour of soldiers and 
the skill of generals. Since the reign of Peter I., 
Russia has effected some of the greatest designs 
by adroitness in diplomacy. Scheming and far- 
sighted, and sparing no means to attain any desired 
end, this remarkable power has established agents 
in every corner of Europe and Asia, and, it may 
be added, America male and female, open and 
avowed, secret and furtive, commercial and mili- 
tary, princely and plebeian, literary and scientific, 
connected with the press as well as Avith the 
recesses of private life. Some of this extraordinary 
army of agents are accredited to foreign courts, 
for ostensible purposes ; some are merely spies, 
appointed to detect and report on the ' nakedness of 
the land,' moral or material ; while others . appear 
to have a mission combining the powers of the 
envoy and the spy. Brilliant, fluent, accomplished, 
polished the Russian agents are difficult to resist, 
and as difficult to match ; while, if occasion seem 
to need it, these fascinating qualities can quickly 
be exchanged for a kind of overbearing audacity, 
which scares the timid into submission. Sparing 
no expenditure of means to accomplish an object, 
and unrestrained by constitutional forms, the ruling 
power in Russia pursues a steady onward progress 
of deceit and aggression, as if governed by but one 
principle that of aiming at universal empire. The 
policy of other European nations may at various 
times have been aggressive, but that of Russia 
stands apart ; it has peculiarities of its own, and 
those peculiarities impart to it a character which 
other nations will do well to study. The policy is 
traditionary, or rather hereditary; it is handed down 
from father to son, from one generation to another. 
Alexander has promised to his subjects, that he 
will carry out the plans of his father Nicholas ; 
Nicholas remembered Catherine ; Catherine bore 
in mind the conquests of Peter. The Greek priests 
have instilled into the minds of the people a 
belief that the favoured Russian nation must and 
will one day possess Constantinople ; and the 
half-savage serfs who are driven into battle, enter- 
tain an obscure notion that they are fighting, in 
part for this object, in part for their demf-god 
the czar. As for this demi-god, it is scarcely 
conceivable to what an extent the blasphemous 
teachings of the priests have extended. The fol- 
lowing two questions, with their answers, are 
extracted from the new catechism prepared for 
the use of schools and churches in the Polish 
provinces of Russia literally translated : 

' Question. How is the authority of the emperor 
to be considered in reference to the spirit of 
Christianity ? 

Answer. As proceeding immediately from 
God. 



Q. What are the supernaturally revealed motives 
for this worship (of the emperor) ] 

A. The supernaturally revealed motives are 
that the emperor is the vicegerent and minister 
of God to execute the divine commands, and 
consequently disobedience to the emperor is iden- 
tified with disobedience to God himself ; that God 
will reward us in the world to come for the 
worship and obedience we render to the emperor, 
and punish us severely to all eternity should we 
disobey or neglect to worship him. Moreover, 
God commands us to love and obey from the 
inmost recesses of the heart every authority, and 
particularly the emperor not from worldly con- 
siderations, but from apprehensions of the final 
judgment.' 

It was especially towards the late Czar Nicholas 
that this excess of reverential submission was 
demanded and shewn. 

Sir John M'Neill places in a striking light the 
mode in which the great Russian Colossus has 
stridden over surrounding nations : ' The acquisi- 
tions she has made from Sweden are greater than 
what remains of that ancient kingdom ; her 
acquisitions from Poland are as large as the whole 
Austrian Empire ; the territory she has wrested 
from Turkey in Europe is equal to the dominions 
of Prussia, exclusive of her Rhenish provinces ; 
her acquisitions from Turkey in Asia are equal in 
extent to all the smaller states of Germany, the 
Rhenish provinces of Prussia, Belgium, and Hol- 
land, taken together ; the country she has con- 
quered from Persia is about the size of England ; 
and her acquisitions in Tatary have an equal area 
to Turkey in Europe, Greece, Italy, and Spain.' ""' 

Again referring to our coloured map, these vast 
acquisitions, which enlarged the population of 
Russia from fourteen millions in 1722, to sixty- 
five millions in 1850, are rendered appreciable to 
the eye. Since the comparatively recent year 
1772, Russia has acquired territory greater in 
extent and importance than the whole empire she 
had in Europe in that year ! Since then, ' she 
has advanced her frontier 850 miles towards 
Vienna, Berlin, Dresden, Munich, and Paris ; 
she has approached 450 miles nearer to Con- 
stantinople ; she has possessed herself of the 
capital of Poland ; and has advanced to within 
a few miles of the capital of Sweden, from which, 
when Peter the Great mounted the throne, her 
frontier was distant 300 miles. Since that time, 
she has stretched herself forward about 1000 miles 
towards India, and the same distance towards the 
capital of Persia. The regiment that is now stationed 
at her furthest frontier post on the western shore 
of the Caspian, has as great a distance to march 
back to Moscow as onward to Attock on the 
Indus ; and is actually further from St Petersburg 
than from Lahore, the capital of the Punjab. 
The battalions of the Russian Imperial Guard 
that invaded Persia found, at the termination of 
the war, that they were as near to Herat as to 

* Progress and Present Position of Russia in the East. 



THE 'HOLY PLACES.' 



e 



the banks of the Don; that they had already 
accomplished half the distance from their capital 
to Delhi ; and that therefore, from their camp 
in Persia, they had as great a distance to march 
back to St Petersburg as onward to the capital 
of Hindostan.' 

The circumstance especially needing attention, is 
not merely that these acquisitions are vast in area, 
but that they have all been made in the steady 
pursuance of one fixed policy. There is, indeed, 
something remarkable in the methodic system of 
Russian aggression, which presents almost the 
precision of a science. The authority just quoted 
has pointed out what, indeed, may be gathered by 
any impartial reader of the past history of Russia 
that this code or system presents four stages, which 
may be indicated by the words disorganisation, 
occupation, protection, and incorporation. First, by 
means of innumerable agents, Russia sows discord 
in a neighbouring country ; she observes whether 
there are rival sects, rival races, rival claimants to 
the throne, rival parties in the legislature, rival 
interests in towns, discontents between the nobles 
and the peasants, discontents between the taxed 
and the uutaxed ; and by means of subtle and 
well-schooled agents, often supplied with 'material' 
arguments in great plenty, she encoiirages internal 
dissensions, which weaken the stability of a state. 
If her agents are detected a little too soon, she 
scruples not to sacrifice them ; but if the agency be 
not very apparent, then comes the next stage. She 
occupies some of the provinces, kindly intent upon 
preventing the dissentients from injuring each 
other, and from injuring her own subjects by a 
pernicious example. Then, having planted a foot 
firmly, matters are ripe for a display of mag- 
nanimity ; she offers protection ; she undertakes 
to shield the sovereign of the distracted country 
from his disorderly subjects ; she asks no money 
for this ; she requires only to be allowed to do 
good, but makes it a condition that her military 
forces shall hold undisturbed possession of the 
protected country. The fruit ripens ; the province 
is found, by degrees, to be unsatisfactorily placed 
under this divided allegiance ; and it requires only 
a very easy logic to shew that the protector, hale 
and strong, must necessarily be a better governor 
than the protected, sick and weak ; and then 
arrives the fourth stage incorporation. 

Epigrammatic as this statement of the case may 
seem, it is no more than the simple truth. In 
Poland, in the Crimea, in Georgia, in Imeretia, in 
Mingrelia, all these four stages have been fulfilled ; 
in Moldavia and Wallachia, Russia has more 
than once arrived at the third stage, protection, 
after the second, or stage of occupation; and 
it is difficult to see how the manoeuvres of the 
' Russian party ' for there is a Russian party 
in almost every country in Bulgaria, Servia, 
Montenegro, Greece, and Persia, can be explained 
on any other principle than that of disorganisation 
the first stage in a significant march towards 
annexation. 



Thus, a summary has been presented of the 
aggressive achievements of Russia down to the 
period when, in 1853, Nicholas I., following 
the hereditary policy of his house, and more 
accomplished than his predecessors, prepared to 
make a final clutch at what remained in Europe 
of the once great Turkish Empire. An excuse for 
this movement, as will be immediately shewn, 
was not wanting. 



THE 'HOLY PLACES' AT JEHUSALEM: A 
SUBJECT OP CONTEST. 

It is a well-known principle in political govern- 
ment, that an independent power shall not be 
embarrassed by foreign interference. The equivo- 
cal right to protect Greek Christians in Turkey, 
granted or implied under treaties with Russia, was 
at variance with this sound maxim ; for it 
furnished the czar with a plausible reason for 
encroachment. One of the treaties which seemed 
to sanction this exercise of authority by Russia, 
was that of Kainardji.* On the general ground 
of protecting the members of the Greek Church 
in Turkey, a cause of quarrel was easily found ; 
but there was a more special reason at hand. 
It was the method of managing what are called 
the ' Holy Places,' which was alleged to be 
opposed to the rights of Russia. 

The Holy Places or Sanctuaries, at Jerusalem 
and Bethlehem, are certain buildings and frag- 
ments of buildings which as is alleged by eccle- 
siastics of the Latin and Greek Churches refer to 
the time of our Saviour, and were concerned in 
some of the momentous events of his ministry. 
Many recent writers reject as insufficient the 
evidence on which the location is inferred ; but 
this does not in any way disturb the faith of the 
thousands of pilgrims who visit the spot. As the 



* A careful perusal of the Treaty of Kainardji will shew that, out 
of the twenty-eight clauses, there arc only three which touch upon 
the liberties and privileges of Christians in the Ottoman Empire, 
as follow : 

' ARTICLE VII. The Sublime Porte promises to protect constantly 
the Christian religion and its churches ; and it also allows the 
ministers of the Imperial Court of Russia to make, upon all occa- 
sions, representations, as well in favour of the new church at 
Constantinople, of which mention will be made in ART. XIV., as on 
behalf of its officiating ministers, promising to take such repre- 
sentations into duo consideration, as being made by a confidential 
functionary of a neighbouring and sincerely friendly power. 

ART. VIII. The subjects of the Russian Empire, as well laymen 
as ecclesiastics, shall have full liberty and permission to visit the 
Holy City of Jerusalem, and other places deserving of attention. 
No charatsch, contribution, duty, or other tax shall be exacted 
from those pilgrims and travelers by any one whomsoever, either 
at Jerusalem or elsewhere, or on the road ; but they shall be 
provided with such passports and finnans as are given to the 
subjects of the other friendly powers. During their sojourn in the 
Ottoman Empire, they shall not suffer the least wrong or injury ; 
but, on the contrary, shall be under the strictest protection of the 
laws. 

ART. XIV. After the manner of the other powers, permission is 
given to the High Court of Russia, in addition to the chapel built 
in the minister's residence, to erect in one of the quarters of Galata, 
in the street called Bey Oglei, a public church of the Greek ritual, 
which shall always be under the protection of the ministers of that 
empire, and secure from all coercion and outrage.' 

Groundless as are the vast protective claims of Russia, based on 
these three simple clauses, they are not strengthened by anything 
contained in the Treaty of Adrianople (1829), which merely states 
(AT. XV.) on this subject, that all former agreements remain in 
force, unless otherwise specified. 



10 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



capital of the Hebrew kingdom, the Jews hold 
Jerusalem in high veneration ; as the chief scene 
of Christ's career, the Christians also venerate it ; 
and even the Mohammedans regard it with interest 
and respect. 

In so far as concerns the pilgrimages and the 
monastic services of Christians, they refer to the 
supposed sites of the ancient buildings; for none 
of the buildings of the ^New-Testament period 
actually remain, except a few ill-defined substruc- 
tures or foundations. The chief object of interest 
to Christian pilgrims, is the church which contains 
the alleged sepulchre of Christ the ostensible, if 
not the real, source of solicitude to the Crusaders. 
This church, built by the Empress Helena fifteen 
centuries ago, is so large, and of sucli an oblong 
figure, and has so many projections or bays in 
particular parts, that the builder contrived to 
include within its walls various spots alleged to 
be connected with the death and burial of Christ 
not merely the sepulchre itself, but also the 
scene of the crucifixion. This church, the work of 
the mother of Constantino the Great, was partly 
destroyed by fire in 1808 ; it was rebuilt with 
attention to the same included area, but -with 
inferior materials. It is quite extraordinary to 
see how little change a century or two makes in 
bigotry : the Latins and Greeks quarrel about these 
Holy Places now, just as they quarrelled when 
Maundrell visited Jerusalem. As an example of 
contrast in time, but not in conduct, it may be well 
to give here Maundrell's account, written in 1697, 
of the sanctuary and its devotees : it will prepare 
us for the transactions of 1850. 

' The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is founded 
upon Mount Calvary; is less than 100 paces 
long, and not more than GO -wide, and yet is so 
contrived, that it is supposed to contain under its 
roof twelve or thirteen sanctuaries, or places con- 
secrated to a more than ordinary veneration, by 
being reputed to have had some particular actions 
done in them, relating to the death and resurrec- 
tion of Christ. As, first, the place where he was 
derided by the soldiers ; secondly, where the 
soldiers divided his garments; thirdly, where he 
was shut up, whilst they digged the hole to set the 
foot of the cross in, and made all ready for his 
crucifixion ; fourthly, where he was nailed to the 
cross ; fifthly, where the cross was erected ; sixthly, 
where the soldier stood who pierced his side ; 
seventhly, where his body was anointed, in order 
to his burial ; eighthly, where his body was depo- 
sited in the sepulchre ; ninthly, where the angels 
appeared to the women after his resurrection ; 
tenthly, where Christ himself appeared to Mary 
Magdalene. The places where these and many 
other things relating to our blessed Lord are said 
to have been done, are all supposed to be contained 
within the narrow precincts of this church, and 
are all distinguished and adorned with so many 
several altars. In galleries round about the church, 
and also, in little buildings annexed to it on the 
outside, are certain apartments for the reception of 



friars and pilgrims ; and in these places almost 
every Christian nation anciently maintained a 
small society of monks, each society having its 
proper quarter assigned to it by the appointment 
of the Turks ; such as the Latins, Greeks, Syrians, 
Armenians, Abyssiuians, Georgians, Nestorians, 
Cophtites, Maronites, &c., all which had anciently 
their several apartments in the church. But these 
have all, except four, forsaken their quarters, not 
being able to sustain the severe rents and extor- 
tions which their Turkish landlords impose upon 
them. The Latins, Greeks, Armenians, and Coph- 
tites keep their footing still ; but of these four, the 
Cophtites have now but one poor representative of 
their nation left ; and the Armenians have run 
so much in debt, that it is supposed they arc 
hastening apace to follow the example of their 
brethren who have deserted before them. Besides 
their several apartments, each fraternity have their 
altai-s and sanctuary, properly and distinctly allotted 
to their own use; at which places they have a 
peculiar right to perform their own divine service, 

and to exclude other nations from them 

But that which has always been the great prize 
contended for by the several sects, is the command 
and appropriation of the Holy Sepulchre a 
privilege contested Avith so much unchristian fury 
and animosity, especially between the Greeks and 
Latins, that in disputing which parties should go 
into it, to celebrate their mass, they have some- 
times proceeded to blows and wounds, even at the 
very door of the Sepulchre, mingling their own 
blood with their sacrifices ; an evidence of wlu'ch 
fury the father-guardian shewed us, in a great 
scar upon his arm, which, he told us, was the 
mark of a wound given him by a sturdy Greek 

priest in one of these unholy wars The daily 

employment of the recluses inhabiting this edifice 
is, to trim the lamps, and to make devotional visits 
and processions to the several sanctuaries in the 
church. Thus they spend their tune, many of 
them for four or six years together ; nay, so far 
are some transported with the pleasing contempla- 
tion in which they here entertain themselves, that 
they will never come out, to their dying day 
burying themselves, as it were, alive in our Lord's 
grave.' 

Similar disputes respecting the same localities 
continued to scandalise and disgrace the Christian 
world ; for although the fire in 1808 destroyed 
much of that which Maundrell describes, the 
monks fought as fiercely as ever for possession 
of, or control over, the sites reputed holy. 

The successive sultans have repeatedly issued 
firmans and hatti-sherifs* respecting the Holy 
Places at Jerusalem sometimes as a matter of 
favour ; sometimes as a means of allaying disputes 
between the Latin and Greek Christians. When 
the Saracens conquered Jerusalem, 621 A.D., the 

* The difference between these two kinds of Turkish documents 
seems to be this a firman is a government order or permission, 
issued from any one of many different offices ; \vhcreas a ftatti- 
sherif (iherif, sherccf, sclierif) emanates more directly from the 
sultan, and is a result of his Individual will and pleasure. 



THE 'HOLY PLACES.' 



11 



victor, Hazret-Omar-Hatap, placed the Holy Sepul- 
chre and its dependencies under the control of the 
Greek patriarch; and all other Christian bodies 
were rendered subordinate to him. During the 
eight centuries which next followed, and which 
witnessed so many conquests and reconquests of 
Jerusalem Saracens, Turks, Tatars, and Crusaders, 
all gaining the ascendancy by turn the Moham- 
medan regulations of the place cannot very clearly 
be traced ; but when the Sultan of the Turks became 
master both of Constantinople and of Jerusalem, 
the exercise of the Christian rites in the latter- 
named city became immediately dependent on 
the good-will of the Ottoman potentate ; and such 
has continued to be the case during the last 
400 years. Sultan Mehemet, soon after the 
conquest of Constantinople, gave into the hands 
of the Greek patriarch a hatti-sherif, confirming 
the Greek Christians in all their rights of possession 
and immunities in regard to the Holy Places at 
Jerusalem. In the sixteenth century, two similar 
hatti-sherifs were granted by Sultans Selim and 
Suleiman ; in the seventeenth century, three more 
by Sultans Murad, Ibrahim, and Mehemet ; in the 
eighteenth century, four or five by Mehemet, Sulei- 
man, Osman, and Mustapha; while hatti-sherifs 
have, in later years, been issued by Sultans Selim, 
Mahmoud, and especially Abdul-Medjid. Some of 
these grants related to the Greek Church alone ; but 
in most cases they took cognizance of the wrangles 
between the Latin and Greek Christians. Thus, 
in 1665 and 1668, Sultan Murad IV. issued two 
hatti-sherifs, ' one against the Armenians, and 
the other against the Papists, when the latter 
endeavoured to expel the Greeks from certain 
holy places of which they formerly held posses- 
sion.' Two other hatti-sherifs soon afterwards 
were strongly condemnatory of certain preten- 
sions put forth by the Latins and Armenians, 
leaving the Greek Church in full favour at 
Jerusalem. 

The emperors of Russia, during the last century 
and a half, have steadily kept in view these maxims 
or propositions, and have endeavoured to impress 
them on the minds of the sultans that the Greek 
Church has always been more favoured than the 
Latin by the sultans ; that the czar is the recog- 
nised head of the Greek Church ; and that the czar 
has hence a right to interfere in all that concerns 
the Holy Places at Jerusalem. On the other hand, 
France insists that the Latins have always had 
privileges at Jerusalem, and that the kings of 
France have been recognised as 'protectors' of 
those Latins. For instance, a treaty between 
the sultan and Francis I., in the early part of 
the sixteenth century, consigned the Holy Places, 
and the monks who took care of them, to the 
protection of France. This treaty appears to have 
been the cause of numerous disputes the Greeks 
refused to yield to the Latins ; and many of the 
hatti-sherifs adverted to in the last paragraph 
had for object the healing of feuds between the 
two bodies of Christians. In 1757, these disputes 



became so intolerable, that the Divan issued an 
ordinance expelling the Latins altogether from the 
Church of Bethlehem and the Church of the Tomb 
of the Virgin, leaving them access to other of 
the Holy Places, but placing the whole under the 
care of the Greek monks. In the year 1808, the 
Holy Sepulchre, as noticed above, was partly 
destroyed by fire; and the Porte, in granting 
permission for rebuilding, gave this into the hands 
of the Greeks rather than the Latins ; and on this 
gound the Greeks afterwards claimed additional 
rights and prerogatives. There were prolific 
elements of discord here ; for the sultans, despising 
both the Latin and the Greek Christianity, cared 
little as to which should triumph over the other ; 
while the ordinances or hatti-sherifs, iu giving 
custody of the Holy Places, neglected to desig- 
nate those places by name ; and each body of 
monks succeeded in finding something 'holy' 
which had not been given over to the other. 
Scandals continued to arise so frequently, and 
Christianity became thereby so brought into con- 
tempt in the East, that Russia and France thought 
it proper to interfere the one, as the protector 
of the Greek Christians ; the other, of the Latin. 
M. DashkofF was sent from Russia, and M. Marcellus 
from France, in 1819, to make personal inquiries 
at Jerusalem concerning the state and occupancy 
of all the sacred buildings. The two envoys 
made a minute examination, and sent in reports 
to their respective governments. It was hoped 
that the foundation was laid for an amicable 
settlement of the whole subject : but shortly 
after this, the troubles broke out between 
Turkey and Greece ; and troubles in other 
directions kept the subject in abeyance until the 
year 1850. 

Now, laying aside all doubts concerning the 
localities, a rational curiosity may arise to know 
the nature and number of the sacred buildings, or 
parts of buildings, in respect to which Christendom 
is thus divided. A document, drawn up by M. 
Marcellus in 1820, gives a list of these ; and it will 
be admitted, that the list bears no small resem- 
blance to the items in an auctioneer's catalogue so 
much is the spirit of the subject frittered down by 
a string of petty details. There is a list, first, of 
the Sanctuaries or Holy Places, which, as France 
alleges, were possessed exclusively by the Latins 
in 1740 in Jerusalem, and outside Jerusalem ; 
next, of the Sanctuaries, both within and without 
Jerusalem, possessed by the Latins in common 
with other Christians in 1740; next, of the Sanc- 
tuaries whence the Latins had been altogether 
excluded by the events which occurred shortly 
before 1820 ; and, lastly, of the Sanctuaries which, 
exclusively belonging to the Latins in 1740, were 
shared by other bodies in 1820. The list is worth 
recording, as an example of the trifling matters 
which will sometimes plunge great nations into 
war. The original document was in French ; but 
the official translation, prepared for the Parliamen- 
tary Papers on Eastern Affairs, assumes the form 



12 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



hero given in a note.* M. Marcellus, at the same 
time, enumerated twenty-one ' prerogatives' which 
he claimed for the Latins at Jerusalem, as follow : 
' 1. The fathers of the Holy Land, Latin monks, 
alone to possess the keys of the gates of the con- 
\dii.s or sanctuaries above mentioned, and parti- 
cularly the three keys of the Altar of the Manger 
at Uethlehem. 2. They have a right to guard 
those places, to repair, maintain, decorate, and 
light lamps there. 3. To celebrate Holy Mass 
there, and to exercise the rites and ceremonies yf 
their worship. 4. To take the lead over all other 
nations in their visitation of the pilgrimages of 
the Holy Places. 5. They have a right to visit 
the half of Mount Calvary which does not belong 
to them ; to celebrate mass on the aforesaid half; 
and to light lamps there. C. The Frank monks 
have an exclusive right to exercise their worship 
in the lower part of the cave of the Great 
Church of Bethlehem. 7. To prevent other nations 
from lighting lamps there, to celebrate their offices, 

'SiNCTU ABIES POSSESSED EXCLUSIVELY BY TUB LATINS IN 1740. 

At Jerusalem 

1. The Holy Sepulchre; that is to say, the grand cupola, called 
the Leaden Cupola, and the small cupola, situated under the larger 
one, and covering the tomh itself. The entire court which sur- 
rounds the tomb, and the circular space between the pillars of 
the dome and the -wall, now occupied by the chambers built by the 
Greeks after the fire. 

2. The Grand Arch which separates the Greek Church from the 
dome, and which serves for the choir for the Latins when they 
perform their ceremonies before the tomb. 

3. The Stone of Unction and the court which surrounds it, as far 
as the door of the church and the chamber now occupied by the 
Greeks. 

4. The southern half of Calvary, that on which our Saviour was 
crucified ; the four interior arches which compose Adam's Chapel, 
in front of which are the tombs of Godfrey of Bouillon and of 
Baudouin, destroyed in 1811 ; as well as five other royal tombs, 
situated at the foot of the wall of the Greek choir ; the chamber 
at the side of Adam's Chapel. 

5. The Grotto of the Invention of the Holy Cross, and of the 
staircase leading to it. 

G. The entire court and the altar of the Church of the Magdalene; 
the seven contiguous arches, called the Arches of the Virgin, below 
as well as above ; and the chapel called the Prison Chapel. 

7 . The small church situated at the side of that of the Magdalene ; 
the convent of the Latin Monks, with half of the gallery of the 
great cupola ; the adjoining chambers, the cistern, the gallery 
above the Seven Arches of the Virgin, and a covered passage leading 
to the cupola. 

8. The chapel called the Holy Virgin's, outside the Church of 
the Holy Sepulchre, to the south of Calvary, and the entire space 
before the door of the church. 

9. The Convent of the Holy Saviour, with the places appertaining 
to it, the church, gardens, &c. 

Outside Jerusalem 

10. The Cemetery of Mount Sion. 

11. The Tomb of the Holy Virgin, with the altars of St Joseph, 
St Joachim, St Anne. The keys of the church were in the hands 
of the Latins, who had the exclusive custody of them. Other 
nations, nevertheless, had each an altar in the church, but they 
could not perform service at them without the permission of the 
Latins, and the Tomb of the Holy Virgin itself was exclusively 
reserved for the latter. 

12. The Grotto of Gethsemane, with the olive-trees and the 
adjoining grounds. 

13. The Grand Church of Bethlehem altogether, excepting the 
baptistry; the Grotto of the Manger, and the two staircases 
which lead to it. The Latin monks alone possessed the three keys 
one of the door of the church, and the other two for each of the 
side-doors of the grotto. Masters of the church, they could freely 
enter, and there perform all the ceremonies of their religion at the 
high-altar of the church, as well as at the two altars situated in 
the grotto that of the Nativity and that of the Manger. A silver 
star, bearing a Latin inscription, was fastened on the marble, on 
the spot where our Saviour was born. A piece of tapostry, bearing 
the arms of the Holy Land, and belonging to the Latins, covered 
the walls of the grotto. The Latin monks possessed, besides, at 
Bethlehem the square before the church, the entire cemetery, and 
the buildings known as those of the Old Mill 

14 The convent situated by the side of the Grand Church of 
Bethlehem, with the small Church of St Catherine, and all the 
grounds which extend as far as the Grotto of the Nativity and 



and to exercise their religious worship there. 

8. To oppose the visits of other nations to the Holy 
Places possessed by them, the Frank monks. 

9. The actions at law brought against the Frank 
monks shall not be submitted to the authorities of 
the country, but referred to the Sublime Porte at 
Constantinople. 10. The Mogrebins are forbidden 
to offer any violence to the Frank monks at 
Aming'arim, under any pretext. 11. The Turkish 
custom-officers are forbidden to search the baggage 
of the monks, or Catholic pilgrims, which had 
been searched in the Levant, where they landed. 
12. It is likewise forbidden to take or delay the 
clothes of the monks, or the ornaments of the 
Latin churches. 13. To compel the monks to receive 
base coin. 14. To take money from them. 15. It 
is forbidden to demand the smallest fee from the 
Frank monks for the privilege of burying their 
dead. 16. To ill treat the monks who bring the 
usual tribute from Europe, in case they arrive too 
late. 17. To disturb in any manner the monks 

in which are the Sanctuaries of St Joseph, of the Holy Innocents, 
of St Eusepins, of Saints Paul and Eustasia, of St Jerome, of the 
adjoining garden, and of another garden situated near the grotto 
called the Grotto of Milk. 

15. TheGrotto of the Shepherds, and the groundswhichsurroundit. 

16. The Church of St John the Baptist, in the village of 
Aiakarem, with the convent and the garden. 

17. The spot where the Holy Virgin visited St Elizabeth, near 
the village of St John (A'intharem), and the Grotto of St John in 
the Desert. 

SANCTUARIES POSSESSED BY THE LATINS IN COMMON WITH OTIIEU 
NATIONS IN 1740. 

1. The half of Calvary, which properly belongs to the Greeks 
that on which the cross was placed. The Latins possessed, and 
still possess, the right of having a ceremony there on Holy Thursday. 

2. The Church of the Tomb of the Virgin, on this understanding 
that the other nations should each have an altar there, and pt-r- 
form their ceremonies there, with the permission, and under the 
surveillance, of the Latin monks. 

SANCTUARIES AND POSSESSIONS FROM WHICH THE LATIXS AEE NOW 
ALTOGETHER EXCLUDED. 

Jerusalem 

1. The Seven Arches of the Virgin, and the Chapel of the Prison. 

2. The two interior arches of Calvary, the chapel in front, and 
the chamber which is by the side. The Tombs of Godfrey of 
Bouillon and of Baudouin have been destroyed. 

3. A portion of the court surrounding the Stone of L'nction, 
that part where the other tombs were which have been destroyed, 
the Greeks having pushed forward the wall in order to enlarge 
their church. The chamber on the right has likewise been taken 
possession of by the Greeks. 

4. The space situated between the pillars of the cupola, and 
between the pillars of the wall, which the Greeks have filled up 
by building chambers there. They have likewise usurped about 
four "pics" of space under the great arch, by pushing forward, 
in order to enlarge their church, the wall which separates it from 
the cupola. 

Outside Jerusalem 

5. The entire church which encloses the Tomb of the Holy 
Virgin, and the garden by the side of it. The Latins can no longer 
perform their ceremonies there, nor even enter, without the 
permission of the Greeks, who have the keys. 

6. The Grand Church of Bethlehem altogether ; the two stair- 
cases which lead to the grotto; the Altar of the Nativity in that 
grotto. The silver star has been carried off: there no longer 
remains anything but a few tatters of the tapestry belonging to 
the Latin monks. The three keys are at the present time in the 
hands of the Greeks. 

7. The half of the two gardens of the convent at Bethlehem. 

8. The place and the store known as that of the Old Mill. 

9. The Grotto of the Shepherds, and the surrounding grounds. 

SANCTUARIES BELONGING IN 1740 EXCLUSIVELY TO THE LATINS, IN 
T11K ENJOYMENT OF WHICH OTHKU NATIONS NOW PARTICIPATE. 

1. The Holy Sepulchre, and the court which surrounds it under 
the grand cupola. 

2. The Stone of Unction. 

3. The Grotto of the Manger at Bethlehem. The Greeks and the 
Armenians perform their ceremonies there at the Altar of the 
Nativity, and the Latins at the Altar of the Manger.' 



THE 'HOLY PLACES:' 1850-1. 



13 



and pilgrims of the Holy Land, in the course of 
their visitations or pilgrimages. 18. To disturb 
them at any time in the exercise of their religious 
worship, so long as that worship out of doors is 
not contrary to the Mussulman laws. 19. The 
Turkish authorities are forbidden to pay more 
than one visit each year to the Holy Sepulchre. 
20. To compel the Frank monks to purchase 
damaged wheat. 21. The Latin fathers possess 
an exclusive right to send members of their com- 
munities or couriers to Constantinople, on business, 
without opposition.' 

Thirty years after these monkish trifles were 
thus recorded by M. Marcellus, troubles concerning 
them recommenced. In the beginning of 1850, 
the pope, and many Roman Catholic sovereigns, 
agreed to assist France in endeavouring to obtain 
a settlement of this knotty question ; urging that 
the Greeks had usurped property belonging to the 
Latins at Jerusalem, and had purposely allowed 
some of the chapels and monuments to fall into 
decay. General Aupick, the French ambassador 
at Constantinople, formally made certain demands 
from the Porte ; but M. Titoff, the Russian ambas- 
sador, resisted them, insisting that the Greeks 
were in the right, and that Russia was their 
protector. Our ambassador, Sir Stratford Canning, 
since become Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, at 
once saw that serious consequences might spring 
out of this simple matter, and counselled the 
Porte to be cautious of offending either party by 
conceding too much to the other. The Porte then 
proposed to appoint a commission, to examine 
all the firmans or hatti-sherifs which the Ottoman 
government had at any time given to any of the 
Christian communities at Jerusalem, with a view 
to make arrangements in conformity with them. 
The sultan was much embarrassed by the urgent 
claims of the two great Christian powers ; and 
there can be no question, that he would honestly and 
in good faith have dealt equitably by them, had 
he seen his Avay clearly, for he had no sympathy 
with either in preference to the other. The British 
ambassador Avas fully alive to the difficulty of 
the sultan's position. In one of his dispatches to 
the home-government, he said : ' General Aupick 
has assured me, that the matter in dispute is a 
mere question of property, and of express treaty 
stipulation ; but it is difficult to separate any such 
question from political considerations, and a struggle 
of general influence, especially if Russia, as may be 
expected, should interfere in behalf of the Greek 
Church.' On another occasion, speaking of the 
Greek interest, he said : ' No one seems to doubt 
that every nerve will be strained by that church 
and nation to maintain their present vantage- 
ground, and that Russian, influence, however 
masked, will be vigorously exerted, as on former 
occasions, to defeat the attack of the Latin party. 
He expressed an opinion that the Porte, 'in its 
embarrassment between the two conflicting interests 
animated by religious zeal, would no doubt be glad 
to find an issue in some private arrangement 



between the parties more immediately concerned ' 
a wish in which he fully sympathised. 

The year 1850 passed away in these discussions ; 
and 1851 commenced with a strong demand from 
General Aupick, urged by dispatches from Paris to 
insist on a restitution of the state of matters which 
existed at Jerusalem in 1740 ; while M. Titoff, stimu- 
lated by dispatches from St Petersburg, insisted that 
no change whatever should be made at Jerusalem. 
The poor sultan was thus placed between two 
angry claimants, each of whom would be offended 
by any concessions made to the other. In May, 
M. Lavalette succeeded General Aupick as French 
ambassador at Constantinople, and renewed the 
Latin claims in very importunate terms. In 
July, the Porte appointed a commission to examine 
all the documents : and the report of the commis- 
sion was so far favourable to the Latins, that 
M. Lavalette thought himself entitled to raise his 
tone ; he said, that ' if the moderation of his 
government, in seeking only a joint participation 
of the Holy Places, were not appreciated, the claim 
of undivided possession by the Latins would be 
urged with all the weight of a demand war- 
ranted by treaty.' At this very time M. Titoff 
declared to the Porte, that he and his legation 
would immediately quit Constantinople, if the 
status quo of the sanctuaries was in any degree 
unsettled ! It is easy to picture the embarrass- 
ment of the sultan and his ministers at such a 
dilemma. 

The year 1851 passed away like that Avhich 
preceded it, still leaving the French and Russian 
ambassadors striving which could extract most 
concessions from the Porte concerning the Holy 
Places, and still leaving the Porte uncertain how 
to please both parties. Early in 1852, the Turkish 
ministers flattered themselves on the formation of 
an excellent plan : they offered to the Latins ' the 
right of officiating in the Shrine of the Virgin near 
Jerusalem, together with keys to the Church of 
the Nativity at Bethlehem ; ' while they offered 
to the Greeks ' the right of officiating, on certain 
occasions, in the mosque of Mount Olivet.' But, 
alas ! Lavalette spurned the concessions to the 
Latins, as being too insignificant, and Titoff equally 
spurned those on the part of the Greeks ; and the 
peaceful wish of the Moslem was again frustrated. 
The British ambassador stated, in a dispatch to 
Earl Granville, that M. Titoff ' expressed himself 
with unusual vehemence, and no small degree of 
irritation, against the proposed arrangement.' 

At length, on 19th March 1852, the British 
ambassador was enabled to transmit to his govern- 
ment a copy of a firman which the sultan had 
just issued, in relation to the Holy Places. It may 
be well to give this firman in full, in a note;* 

* ' FIRMAN. 

To thee, my Vizier, Ahmed Pacha, Governor of Jerusalem; 
to thee, Cadi of Jerusalem ; and to you, members of the Mcdjiiss. 

The disputes which, from time to time, arise between the Greek 
and Latin nations, respecting certain Holy Places which exist both 
within and without the city of Jerusalem, have now been again 
revived. 

A commission has, in consequence, been formed, composed of 



14 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



because it presents some curious information con- 
cerning the actual state of those sanctuaries, and 
because it was itself "a subject of renewed dispute 
afterwards. The month of August had scarcely 
arrived, when M. Lavalctte was found quarrelling 
with the Porte concerning the smallness of the con- 
, >ns made to the Latins. The conciliatory spirit 
of the Porte is shewn in a remarkable way by the 
' blessings ' called down upon the names of the sacred 
personages of Christianity in the firman ; so different 
from the generally conceived notion of the bigoted 
intolerance of the Mussulmans. But this concilia- 
tory spirit availed nothing as between the rival 
claims of the t\vo Christian churches. The firman 
was considered to be more favourable to the Greek 
than to the Latin Church; and hence M. Lavalctte 
was more dissatisfied with it than M. Titoff. 

The British consul at Jerusalem, in a dispatch 
to Lord Malmesbury, dated October 27, gives 
a curious account of one month's proceedings 
between certain ' Christian ' dignitaries in that 
city. It appears that they met by appointment, 
to settle matters of detail on the spot. There were 
M. Easily, M. Marabutti, and Prince Garari, as 
representatives of the Russian or Greek party; 
M. Botta and Count Pizzamano, as representatives 
of the French or Latin party ; Afif Bey, and a suite 
of local effendis, as commissioners from the Turkish 
government ; together with the three patriarchs, 
Greek, Latin, and Armenian. The Russian agents 
arrived first. ' They were received with extraordi- 
nary honours ; refreshments awaited them at three 
different stations between Jaffa and Jerusalem ; 
the Greek patriarch went out to meet them ; and 



certain muchirs and distinguished men of the law, and of other 
persons, to examine this question thoroughly ; and this is the 
result of the researches and of the investigations of that commis- 
sion, and of those of the cabinet-councils held after the commission. 
The places in dispute between the two rites are the great cupola 
of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; the little cupola, which is 
above the spot called the Tomb of Jesus, on whom may the blessing 
of God rest, and which is in the church before mentioned ; the 
Hadjir-el-Moughtesil ; Golgotha, which is also within the enclosure 
of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre ; the Arches of the Holy 
Mary ; the Great Church, which is in the village of Bethlehem ; 
as well as the Grotto, which is the true spot where Jesus may 
the blessing of God be upon him! was born, and which is 
situated below that church ; and the Tomb of the Blessed Mary, 
whom may God bless. 

Seeing that the great cupola above mentioned applies to the 
entire church, the Latins have no right to claim exclusive posses- 
sion either of that cupola, or of the lesser cupola, or of the Hadjir- 
el-Moughtesil, or of Golgotha, or of the Arches of the Holy Mary, 
or of the Great Church of Bethlehem, or of the Holy Manger ; all 
these places must be left in their present state. In former times, 
a key of the two gates of the Great Church of Bethlehem and of 
the Holy Manger was given to each of the Greek, Latin, and 
Armenian nations a measure which was also confirmed by the 
finnan delivered to the Greek nation in the year of the llegira 
1170 ; and that arrangement shall still continue. But as it does 
not follow from this, that it is permitted to alter the existing state 
of things in that church, or to prevent the Latins from officiating 
there, or, in short, to make any new arrangement calculated to 
incommode other sects, cither in the passage from the church to 
the Holy Manger, or in other respects ; the smallest pretension 
in regard to this shall not be allowed or entertained, on the part 
of any one whatsoever. 

No change shall be made in the present state of the gates of the 
Church of Bethlehem. 

As, according to ancient and modern documents, the two gardens 
belonging to the Frank convent at Bethlehem, to which the Latins 
have also laid claim, arc under the superintendence of both parties : 
they shall remain as at present. 

The Latins, on the ground of certain firmans of which they arc 
in possession, have advanced the pretension that the Tomb of the 
Blessed Mary belongs exclusively to them ; but they are not right 
in this either. Only since the Greeks, the Annenians, the Syrians, 
and the Copts at present exercise their worship within this holy 



they entered the city with an escort of 100 irregular 
cavalry, drums beating, and muskets firing.' After 
some days, the whole of them met ' in the Church 
of the Resurrection, just in front of the Holy 
Sepulchre itself, and under the great dome ; there 
they were regaled with sherbets, confectionaries, 
and pipes, at the expense of the three convents, who 
vied with each other in making luxurious display 
on the occasion.' Afif Bey made an oration, and 
announced the sultan's intention to repair the 
dome of the church at his own expense. The 
Russian or Greek party then waited impatiently 
for the reading of a firman which, as they sup- 
posed, would consign to their keeping the whole 
of the Christian sanctuaries of Jerusalem and 
Bethlehem. Afif Bey read an order of the sultan, 
permitting the Latins to celebrate mass once a 
year, but requiring the altar and its ornaments to 
remain undisturbed. ' No sooner were these words 
uttered, than the Latins, who had come to receive 
their triumph over the Orientals, broke out into 
loud exclamations of the impossibility of cele- 
brating mass upon a schismatic slab of marble, 
with a covering of silk and gold instead of plain 
linen, among schismatic vases, and before a crucifix 
which has the feet separated, instead of one nailed 
over the other.' It appears, from the details 
entered into by Mr Consul Finn, that each party 
attended in the full expectation of overthrowing 
the other; but that the Porte, in its vacillation, 
had issued contradictory orders, which could not 
possibly be reconciled. One of the sources of 
trouble was a certain ' silver star, which had been 
stolen in 1847, and which, the firman declared, 



tomb ; that is to say, as the exercise of worship is not confined 
to a single rite, it has been declared just to uphold and to confirm 
on behalf of the Roman Catholic Christians the permission which 
they possess ab antique, of exercising their worship in a spot where 
various nations exercise theirs, but upon condition that they shall 
make no alteration cither in the administration or in the present 
condition of that monument. 

As this decision confirms and consolidates the rights which 
have been granted to the Greek subjects of my empire by my 
august ancestors, and confirmed by firmans invested with hatti- 
sherifs issued from my imperial throne it has accordingly 
obtained my sovereign assent, as I have much at heart to maintain 
the above-mentioned rights. None of the parties shall allow 
themselves to contravene this decision. 

Furthermore, the Latins at the present day perform service once 
a year, on Ascension Day, in an oratory at Jerusalem, called Couhet- 
el-Messad, which is situated on Mount Olivet; and the Greeks 
perform their devotions outside that oratory. Now, this oratory is 
a Mohammedan temple, and it consequently does not belong exclu- 
sively to any Christian sect; and I do not consider it right that 
the subjects of my empire who profess the Greek faith should be 
deprived of the power of worshipping in the interior of the above- 
named oratory. The Greeks shall, therefore, not be prevented from 
exercising their worship in the interior of the Coubet-el-Messad 
(the Cupola of the Ascension), on condition that they make no 
alteration in the present condition of that oratory, and that there 
shall be a Mohammedan porter at the door, as heretofore. This 
measure shall be recorded at the head of the copy of the imperial 
iirman, dated the month of Sheval 1254 (December 1S38). 

Such is my decided and sovereign will ; and in conformity with 
the orders which I have in consequence given, the present firman, 
which is furnished with a hatti-shcrif, and issued from my 
imperial Divan, has been delivered to the Greek nation. 

As soon as my sovereign orders shall become known to you, you 
will take every care that henceforward my decision and my 
commands above mentioned shall not in any way be contravened, 
either by those who profess the Greek, Armenian, Syriuc, and Copt 
religions, or by the Latins. 

You will take care to have the present imperial edict recorded 
in the archives of the Mehkeme", to serve constantly, and for ever, 
as a permanent rule. Understand this ; and give heed to the noble 
signature with which it is decorated. 

Issued about the end of the month of Djemadi-ul-evel 1268 
(February 1852).' 



THE 'HOLY PLACES :' 1852. 



15 



was to be replaced at the Latin expense. It was 
supposed to be brought on this occasion, having 
been approved of in Constantinople ; but on 
inquiry, it was found that no one had brought it, 
or knew where it had been left behind.' 

The close of the year 1852 was marked by a 
continuance of the same disputes as before at 
Constantinople, between Eussia and France, but 
rendered more serious by mutual irritation. If a 
sultan's order or firman were issued, confirming 
the arrangements of 1740, it offended the Russian 
or Greek party ; if it departed from that arrange- 
ment, it offended the French or Latin party. 
Colonel Rose, in a dispatch to Lord Malmesbury 
on 20th November, stated, that the cupola of the 
Holy Sepulchre had for a length of time been in 
decay ; that the Greeks and Latins had disputed 
so violently who should repair it, that nothing was 
done ; that the sultan had hereupon undertaken 
to repair it at his own expense ; but that further 
collisions were even then expected, concerning the 
question whether the inscriptions round the cupola 
should be in Greek or in Latin, and whether the 
sacred images in it should be made and habited 
according to the Greek or the Latin fashion ! The 
attempt seems almost hopeless to reconcile Chris- 
tian bodies who could thus wrangle in the sight 
of the Moslem degrading the Cross not a little 
in the sight of the Crescent. Turkey promised 
Russia that the Latins ' should not be allowed to 
pass through the great door of the Church of 
Bethlehem ;' but France threatened that, unless 
this privilege were conceded, a French fleet should 
enter the Dardanelles ; and so it was that the 
Turkish government, bandied about from the one 
to the other, knew not what course to adopt for 
the best. The British representatives, in con- 
formity with instructions from home, remained 
neutral, ready to aid in healing the differences, if 
opportunity arose. Colonel Rose represented this 
state of things forcibly, in a dispatch written to 
Lord Malmesbury on 20th November : ' The Forte's 
position is most disadvantageous. Against all her 
wishes and interests, she has been dragged into a 
most dangerous and difficult dispute between the 
great powers, who found their respective claims 
on contradictory documents, which date from 
remote and dark ages. The Porte, a Mohammedan 
power, is called upon to decide a quarrel which 
involves, ostensibly, sectarian Christian religious 
feeling; but which, in reality, is a vital struggle 
between France and Russia for political influence, 
at the Porte's cost, in her dominions. The sultan 
is required to be a judge, and to decide this dispute ; 
but so far from having judicial independence and 
immunity, his majesty is coerced, and humiliated 
before his subjects by menaces, forced to give 
contradictory and dishonouring decisions, and then 
accused of perfidy by those who have driven him 
into it.'* Just before the close of the year, the 
much-talked-of silver star was brought in great 
pomp from Jaffa, and deposited in its proper place 

* Parliamentary Papers on Eastern Affairs. Part I. p. 46. 



in the Holy Sepulchre, and new keys for two of 
the buildings were made for the Latin monks. 

Thus the eventful year 1853 approached. There 
would be something merely ludicrous in the con- 
duct of these many grave men concerning such 
trifles, were it not that political ambition lurked 
behind the scene. The British ambassador at 
St Petersburg ascertained that the czar had com- 
menced warlike preparations at the beginning of 
1853, or towards the close of 1852. The answer 
given to his inquiries was, that those preparations 
bore relation to the threats of France; that if 
France adopted a hostile tone to the Porte in the 
interest of the Latin Christians, Russia would do 
the same on the part of the Greek Christians ; but 
that beyond this, she had no unfriendly intentions 
towards Turkey. In a dispatch from Count 
Nesselrode to Baron Brunnow,* January 14, 1853 
the Russian ambassador in London was urged to 
explain to the Earl of Aberdeen's government, as 
he had to that of the Earl of Derby, that the czar's 
only solicitude with Turkey had relation to 
the fulfilment of promises concerning the Holy 
Places. He complained that the sultan's firman 
had not been read at Jerusalem ; that it had been 
treated with derision by the Turkish officials ; 
that the key that unfortunate key! of the 
Church of Bethlehem had been made over to the 
Latins; and that the Greek Christians had been 
grievously offended thereby. In another dispatch, 
from Count Nesselrode to M. Kisseleff, at Paris 
(8th February), the gateway grievance is thus 
dilated upon : ' Matters at Jerusalem have got 
into such a state of confusion and disorder, that 
whilst a Catholic prelate, supported by the French 
consul, called in the assistance of the locksmiths 
of the town to open for him the great gate of the 
Church of Bethlehem, although he could have 
entered by the two other side-gates Cyril, the 
patriarch of Jerusalem, a venerable old man, and 
generally remarkable for his conciliatory disposi- 
tion and for the moderation of his character, was 
compelled to protest, in writing, against these acts 
of violence, and to set out for Constantinople, in 
order to lay his complaints, and those of his nation, 
before the sultan.' 

It was now that Russia, on pretence that a 
charge d'affaires, such as had previously been at the 
Turkish capital, was not of sufficiently high rank 
to conduct such important negotiations, despatched 
Prince Menchikoff to Constantinople. The Russian 
grandee seems to have been purposely chosen from 
among the most arrogant and influential of the 
czar's favourites. The first Menchikoff, adverted 
to in a former page, was one of the creations of 
Peter the Great. First, a pastry-boy, who hawked 
about pics in the streets of Moscow, he was raised, 
step by step, into favour, until at length he became 
a major-general in the army, a prince of the 
empire, and governor of Ingria. The first advance 
was due to his intelligence in discovering a plot 
for poisoning Peter with some pastry, and his 

* Parliamentary Papers. Part I. p. Cl. 



10 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



subsequent promotions were earned by mingled 
skill and ruiiniiiLr. Still greater was his power 
under Catherine, whom he assisted in gaining the 
throne after the death of Peter; he became first 
senator and tield-marshal, albeit he could neither 
mid nor write. From the powerful family thus 
founded, sprang the prince who acted as envoy 
from Nicholas to Abdul-Medjid in 1853. Prince 
Meuchikoft' came to Constantinople with all the 



halo which surrounds one high in favour with a 
powerful sovereign. He was one of the wealthiest 
men in Russia ; his estates were immense, and his 
serfs numerous ; his palaces were more than 
princely ; he had been made Minister of Marine ; 
he had had the important government of Finland 
placed under his control ; he had long been 
regarded as one of the chiefs of the Muscovite or 
old Russian party a party which sets up Moscow 




CONSTANTINOPLE. 



against St Petersburg, and Slavonism against 
Germanism, and which works all the engines for 
the acquisition of power over the Ottomans. It 
is true that, in the external politics of Russia, 
Prince Menchikoff had taken little part. He had 
been a subaltern in the artillery ; then an employe" 
at the war-office; then an unsuccessful envoy to 
the court of Persia at Teheran; then a military 
officer at the siege of Varna in 1828; then an 
admiral of the Russian fleets; then chief of the 
censorship, by which any intellectual food for 
the Russians is either tamed down or removed 
altogether ; but in all these strangely incon- 
gruous positions, he had been very little known 
beyond the limits of his own country. High 
in favour, great in power, arrogant in bearing, 
he was a man to be dreaded at Constantinople 
not so much for what he had done, as for what 
he had been made. Full well did Colonel Rose 
appreciate the meaning and importance of the 
impression which Menchikoff desired to make. 
The British charge d'affaires was told in due form 
by the officials at the Russian mission, before the 
prince arrived, that that nobleman was about to 



land from Odessa ; that he had the title of 
' Altesse Serenissime ;' that he was an admiral, 
and the governor-general of Finland ; and that he 
was as high in rank and in the imperial estimation 
as Count Ncsselrode, Prince Paskevitch, Prince 
Voronzoff, and Count Oiioff aU of which was, 
perhaps, equivalent to saying : ' Tremble at the 
approach of so great a man !' As if to frighten the 
timid and embarrassed sultan still further, by 
the ostentatious magnificence of his display, Prince 
Menchikoff was accompanied by Count Demitri 
Nesselrode, son of the Chancellor of the Empire, 
Prince Galatzin, General Nikapotchinski, and 
Admiral Korniloff. Such was the Imperial envoy., 
whose hauteur was soon displayed. 

When received by the grand vizier on the 2d 
of March (1853), he used peremptory language ; 
and on being invited to visit, as was customary, 
the minister for foreign affairs, Fuad Effendi, he 
at once refused, on the ground that Fuad had 
advocated measures hostile to Russia. The galling 
nature of this insult cannot be fully understood, 
without bearing in mind the importance of cere- 
monials in the eye of an Oriental. Colonel Rose 



THE 'HOLY PLACES:' 1853. 



17 



describes this momentous visit in a dispatch 
Avritten 7th March, a few days after MenchikofFs 
arrival. He plainly saw that it was a bad omen 
for Turkey. ' Prince Menchikoff, with his whole 
embassy, waited on the grand vizier at the Porte. 
It is an invariable rule, that a new ambassador 
makes the second visit of ceremony to the minister 
of foreign affairs ; but Prince Menchikoff, after 
leaving the grand vizier, although invited by 
Kiamil Bey, the Introducteur des Ambassadeurs, to 
visit Fuad Effendi, whose apartment adjoins those 
of the grand vizier, declined to do so. Prince 
Menchikoff, passing by the line of troops and 
Kavasses, and the very door of Fuad Effendi, 
which had been opened to receive him, left the 
Porte. The affront was the more galling, because 
great preparations had been made, for the purpose 
of receiving the Russian ambassador with marked 
honoui's ; and a great concourse of people, particu- 
larly Greeks, had assembled, for the purpose of 
witnessing the ceremony. The incident made a 
great and most painful sensation. The grand 
vizier expressed to me his indignation at the 
premeditated affront which had been offered to 
his sovereign ; and the sultan's irritation was 
excessive. M. Benedetti and myself at once saAv 
all the bearing and intention of the affront. 
Prince Menchikoff wished, at his first start, to 
create an intimidating and commanding influence ; 
to shew that any man, even a cabinet minister, 
who had offended Russia, would be humiliated 
and punished, even in the midst of the sultan's 
court, and without previous communication to his 
majesty.' 

The immediate consequence of the insult was, 
that Fuad Eftendi resigned. By the sultan, anxious 
for conciliation, though greatly offended, the resigna- 
tion was accepted, and Rifaat Pacha was appointed 
as foreign minister. At this time Lord Stratford 
de Redcliffe, the British ambassador to the Sublime 
Porte, was absent in London ; but his place was 
filled by Colonel Rose, who seems to have had a 
shrewder sense of the designs of Russia than his 
principal. To him the conduct of Prince Menchikoff' 
appeared in so serious a light, that, much to the 
surprise of quiet people in England, he scut a 
dispatch to Admiral Dundas at Malta, requesting 
him to send a squadron to the Dardanelles, as a 
check to Russian influence. This order the admiral 
did not feel at liberty to obey; and the home- 
government afterwards approved of his decision. 
The French authorities took a different view of the 
matter ; M. Benedetti, charge d'affaires at Constan- 
tinople, summoned a French fleet from Toulon, 
and the Emperor Xapoleon sanctioned this 
arrangement. 

On the 8th of March, Prince Menchikoff had 
a formal audience of the sultan ; and soon after- 
wards the prince disclosed his views to Rifaat 
Pacha. There are many proofs that at that time 
the British government ill understood the state of 
affairs, and had very imperfectly plumbed the depths 
of the czar's schemes. The Earl of Clarendon wrote 



a dispatch to Sir Hamilton Seymour, British 
ambassador at St Petersburg, dated 23d March, in 
which he expressed himself as follows : ' The 
reports current in Constantinople with respect to 
the real objects of Prince MenchikofFs mission, the 
alarm of the Divan, and the resignation of Fuad 
Eftendi, the rumoured advance of a large Russian 
force to the Turkish frontier, the request made for 
the approach of the British fleet, and the orders 
given for the sailing of the French fleet, have 
naturally excited great alarm, both in England 
and France, with respect to the fate of Turkey, 
and the events of European importance that might 
at any moment occur in the East. Her Majesty's 
government have felt no alarm, and have not 
shared the apprehensions which the rumours and 
facts above alluded to might appear to justify ; for, 
on more than one occasion, they have received the 
personal assurances of the Emperor of Russia, that it 
was his determination to maintain the independence 
of the Turkish Empire ; and that, should the views 
of his majesty undergo any change upon that 
important question, they should frankly be made 
known to Her Majesty's government. No such 
communication having been received, Her Majesty's 
government felt secure, that, whatever might be the 
objects of Prince Menchikoff 's mission, neither the 
authority of the sultan nor the integrity of his 
dominions was exposed to danger.'* The sequel 
shewed how little value was to be placed on the 
'personal assurances ' of the czar. 

Prince Menchikoff' had interviews with Rifaat 
Pacha on the 17th and 22d of March; and Colonel 
Rose soon ascertained that Menchikoff was endea- 
vouring to draw Turkey into a secret treaty with 
Russia, unknown to England or France. Some days 
later, the Russian envoy requested Rifaat Pacha to 
give a promise that the English and French ambas- 
sadors should not be informed of the nature of 
a secret treaty which Russia would propose. As 
MenchikofFs conduct had been marked by mingled 
arrogance and vagueness, Rifaat Pacha refused to 
give the required pledge ; the negotiation referred 
openly and ostensibly to the ' Holy Places ' at 
Jerusalem ; but it seemed as if the secret treaty 
was intended to mask some further inroad upon 
the independence of the Ottoman Empire. On the 
1st of April, a further conference revealed the fact, 
that the czar demanded an unconditional control 
over all the Greek and Armenian subjects of the 
sultan ; offering, in return, ' to put a fleet and 
400,000 men at the service of the sultan, if Turkey 
should ever need aid against any Western power 
whatever.' This complete system of 'protection' 
would have been exactly Russian in both its clauses. 
The grand vizier refused the treaty, refused to keep 
the knowledge of it from France and England, and 
greatly offended Menchikoff; but Rifaat Pacha 
seemed disposed to have yielded to the Russian 
demands, had he not been controlled by a superior 
minister. 

* Parliamentary Papers on the Eastern Question. 1854. Part I. 
p. 94. 



18 



Lord Stratford de Redcliffc arrived at Constan- 
tinople on the 5th of April, and resumed the 
exercise of that great influence which he had 
long held over the Ottoman Porte. He was 
speedily immersed in the diplomacy of the time 
and place. His advice to the Forte was, to keep 
the question of the Holy Places separate from 
any other question concerning the Greek Chris- 
tians of Turkey generally to be conciliatory* on 
the former, but to be on their guard against any 
promises to Russia regarding the Greek Christians. 
Prince Menchikoff, on the other hand, evidently 
wished to insinuate the second question as a conse- 
quence of the first. There was about this time an 
extraordinary system of double-dealing on the part 
of the Russian government. Baron Brunnow, in 
reply to the Earl of Clarendon, and Count Nessel- 
rode, in reply to Sir Hamilton Seymour, protested 
over and over again that the armaments of Russia 
meant nothing, or nothing that should alarm the 
Turkish or other courts ; and yet there was a con- 
tinued pouring down of troops towards the Turkish 
frontier on the Pruth, and an evident augmentation 
of naval power in the Black Sea. Prince Menchi- 
koff, too, in reply to questions from the grand 
vizier and Rifaat Pacha, evaded any direct expla- 
nations concerning the purport of these warlike 
manifestations. The eagerness of Prince Menchikoff 
for a secret treaty, and the extensive arrangements 
for secret arming, indicate plainly that Russia had 
objects in view concerning which it desired that 
England and France should be hoodwinked. Sir 
Hamilton Seymour was evidently much struck 
with this fact. In one of his dispatches, he states 
that, in conversation with Count Nesselrode respect- 
ing the augmentation of troops, 'the subject was 
one upon which it was manifest that the chancellor 
was unwilling to be questioned ; and that, as I 
really believe, because he was unable to return a 
satisfactory answer.' * This dispatch was dated 
19th April. On the next day, he reported another 
conversation with the veteran diplomatist, during 
which Sir Hamilton asked for explanation concern- 
ing the rumoured secret treaty. Count Nesselrode 
' denied the correctness of the rumour ; and after 
some little hesitation, said that he did not know 
what objects could be derived from an offensive 
alliance with Turkey. Having thus changed the 
form of my inquiry, the chancellor replied that 
he would again state that the report was incorrect, 
but that it was true that the emperor had caused 
it to be intimated to the sultan, that he might 
count upon the protection and aid of Russia in case 
of an attack,' &c. a most fatherly care, certainly, 
often proffered during the last fifty years, and in 
most cases disastrous to Turkey if accepted. 

On the 13th of April, Prince Menchikoff received a 
communication from St Petersburg, complaining of 
the slowness of his proceedings, and ordering him 
to demand peremptorily the assent by the Porte to 
all the czar's demands. There Avas an urgent desire 
to conclude the whole before France or England 

Parliamentary Papers. Part I. p. 140. 



could have any chance of interfering ; and Rifaat 
Pacha was perplexed by the impetuosity of the 
prince. It appears, at the same time, that Men- 
chikoff was conciliatory and courteous in all his 
interviews with Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who 
only intimates, in his dispatches, ' a mystery that 
hangs over the intentions of Russia,' and a dis- 
crepancy between the conduct of the prince and 
'the military demonstrations and movements of 
Russian partisans.' What, above all, lulled the 
English representatives at the five great capitals 
into security, was the fact that the disputes 
regarding the Holy Places were actually reaching 
a conclusion. France had become conceding, and 
Turkey was enabled to give what appeared full 
satisfaction to Russia, so far as this matter was 
concerned. On the 5th of May, appeared the firman 
of the sultan, completely settling the question. We 
do not transcribe it, simply because, though im- 
portant, it involves the same kind of petty details 
as all the documents concerning these Holy Places 
the key of the Sepulchre-gate ; the right of Greeks 
and Latins to use the key; the right of joint or 
separate worship ; the right (or the wrong) of the 
Greek door-keeper to shut out the Latin monks; 
the ownership of the new silver star in the Grotto 
of the Sepulchre ; the hours at which the Greeks, 
Latins, and Armenians may severally worship 
at the Sepulchre, in order that three bodies of 
Christians may not be mutually contaminated by 
worshipping together ; the repair of the dilapidated 
cupola by the sultan, to allay the quarrels of the 
Christians, who disputed which fraternity should 
undertake this duty ; the blocking up of some 
windows which looked upon the church of the 
Holy Sepulchre such were the matters on which 
the firman dwelt. But this progress towards, and 
final attainment of, an accommodation on the old 
subjects of dispute, seems to have been precisely 
what Russia did not want, and what impelled her 
to be pressing with her new and secret demands. 

Strange to say, it was on the same day which 
witnessed the issue of the conclusive firman, that 
Prince Menchikoff sent in an official 'note' to 
Rifaat Pacha, so exigeant in its tone as thoroughly 
to alarm Lord Stratford. The sultan was ill at 
the time ; and Rifaat Pacha, troubled at his 
position, requested the full advice of the British 
and French ambassadors. It soon appeared that 
Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, M. de la Cour, Rifaat 
Pacha, and the grand vizier were of one mind, 
that the demands of Russia could not be acceded 
to claiming, as she did, the 'protectorate' of eleven 
millions of the Christian subjects of the sultan ; in 
other words, a share of the sovereignty of Turkey. 
In the dispatches of the Earl of Clarendon, written 
in the months of May and June, it is made evident 
that the British government had placed faith in 
the declarations made by Count Nesselrode and 
Baron Brunnow : they had thought that the settle- 
ment concerning the Holy Places would comprise 
all the matters in dispute ; and they were wholly 
unprepared for the news which Lord Stratford 



RUSSIAN PREPARATIONS FOR WAR : 1853. 



19 



had now to transmit to them. A sudden change 
of ministry took place at Constantinople ; Reshid 
Pacha, Mustapha Pacha, and others assumed 
important offices ; and the tone employed against 
Russia became more decided. Menchikoff de- 
manded from Reshid Pacha, the new minister for 
foreign affairs, an immediate answer to the ' note.' 

The last scene in this act of the Turkish drama 
occurred on the 21st of May, when Prince Menchikoff 
departed from Constantinople, and the imperial 
arms were withdrawn from the Russian embassy. 
Count Nesselrode wrote to Reshid Pacha, stating 
that Menchikoff would remain at Odessa a short 
time, and that if Turkey sent in its adhesion 
within a week, all might yet be well. Turkey 
did not send in its adhesion ; and thus the end 
of May witnessed the termination of the eventful 
Menchikoff mission. 



RUSSIAN PREPARATIONS FOR WAR, UNDER 
PRINCE GORTCHAKOFF. 

A phrase, used by an English statesman in 
parliament, concerning ' drifting into war,' might 
be applied to Turkey at this time. It is a term 
that presupposes a sort of vacillation and timidity, 
rather than a bold pursuit of a clearly denned 
object. Turkey drifted into war, much against the 
wish of its own sultan, and also of the European 
powers generally. It earnestly begged and prayed 
its haughty neighbour Russia to be conciliatory, 
less exacting, more disposed to do unto others as 
it would itself be done unto. But Russia deemed 
herself strong, and Turkey weak. 

While the diplomatists were, on every hand, 
covering the Turkish question with a profusion 
of documents ; while the names of Nesselrode, 
Drouyn de Lhuys, Manteuffel, Buol, Stratford de 
Redcliffe, Clarendon were in every one's mouth 
Russia was silently but vigorously bringing 
her vast forces to concentrate upon the Princi- 
palities of Moldavia and Wallachia, evidently 
aiming at that 'material guarantee' which she 
afterwards attempted to exact. These military 
preparations were in progress from the time when 
Prince MenchikofFs mission seemed likely to fail, 
perhaps still earlier. The whole of the southern 
provinces of Russia were alive with soldiers for 
many weeks, corps d'armee and regiments descend- 
ing from the regions of the Don, the Dniester, and 
the Dnieper, towards the Pruth ready to cross over 
into Moldavia as soon as the word of command 
should arrive. 

The die was cast ; the aggression occurred in the 
beginning of July 1853. On the 2d of that month, 
one corps d'armee crossed the Truth under General 
Liiders ; and on the following day, another con- 
siderable force crossed under General Dannenberg. 
Nearly one -third of these united forces was 
cavalry, and they were provided with seventy-two 
guns of large calibre. A pro-Russian party had 



already been organised in the Principalities ; and 
Gortchakoff introduced himself and his mission to 
the inhabitants in a flaming proclamation. 

The general who was called upon to lead the 
first attack against the Turks in this war, is 
liable to be confounded with another Russian of 
the same name. Prince Gortchakoff* the soldier, 
is the brother of Prince Gortchakoff the diplo- 
matist, who conducted the negotiations at Vienna 
on the part of Russia during the subsequent Con- 
ferences. Born in or about the year 1792, Prince 
Michael Dmitrivich Gortchakoff has been known 
to the rest of Europe only as a highly rewarded 
general, not as one who has achieved great 
exploits. He first served in the artillery of the 
Imperial Guard, and was an officer of artillery 
during the siege of Silistria in 1828-9 ; during this 
siege, he is said to have embarrassed the operations 
of his commander by running his guns into a deep 
fosse, where they stuck fast, and could not be fired. 
In 1831, he took part in the war in Poland, on the 
staff of Count Pahlen. Some accounts give a dis- 
paraging view of his exploits there, but others 
speak of the good service rendered by his artillery ; 
and, at anyrate, the czar raised him to a higher 
rank in the army when the Polish insurrection was 
quelled. In 1843, he was appointed general of 
artillery, and soon afterwards military governor of 
Warsaw. When Austria obtained the aid of Russia 
during the Hungarian campaign, Gortchakoff was 

* Much confusion exists in the current orthography of Russian 
and Turkish names. A few words, therefore, may not be inappro- 
priate here concerning the diversities in the current modes of 
spelling these names. 

The letters of the Russian alphabet are not only, for the most 
part, different inform from those in the Roman, but in many cases 
different in power also. Hence, when a Russian name has to be 
expressed in English, it becomes a question what combination of 
English letters will best convey the Russian sound of the syllables ; 
and different persons judge differently on this point. This is 
especially observable in respect to the uncertain usage of 6 and r, 
of v and / or ff, of v and w, of ch and tch or tsch, of cz and ts. 
Moreover, many of the consonants and diphthongs have, in English, 
sounds differing a little from those which they bear in French, 
German, and Italian ; and on this ground alone a foreigner would 
he prone to spell Russian names in a way different from an English 
writer. Hence such discrepancies as the following : Azof, Azof, 
Asoph ; Oczakow, Otchakof ; Menchikoff, Menschikoff, Mentschikoff, 
Menzikoff; Gorchakoff, Gortchakoff, Gortschakoff; Woronzav, Voron- 
zof ; Suwarrow, Suvarof; Crimea, Krimea ; Balaclava, Balaklava ; 
Sebastopol, Sevastopol ; Wallachia, Valachia ; Suieabury, Sveaborg. 
Some think that the doubling of the final / is quite superfluous ; 
and that Orlof and Termolof, as English forms of Russian names, 
are more consistent than Orloff and Yermoloff. There is no 
authority empowered to settle these differences ; and the differences 
will probably continue. Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, in his diplo- 
matic dispatches, spells Russian names with more simplicity of 
structure than many other writers ; and his example in these cases 
will be generally followed in the present work. 

In the Turkish language, in like manner, there are sounds of 
letters and diphthongs concerning which the most fitting English 
equivalents are by no means determined. Hence the following 
groups of uncertainties: Reshid, Reschid, Redshid, Redschid ; 
Omar, Omer ; Pasha, Pacha; Sherif, Scherif, Sheriff, Shereef ; 
Redif, Rediff, Eedecf; Vizir, Vizier, Vizeer, Wuzeer ; and others of 
similar character. So perplexed have many writers been concerning 
Oriental orthography, that in a History of Hindostan, written half 
a century ago, the name of the famous Asiatic conqueror Ghengis 
Klian is spelled in no less than seven different ways, without any 
apparent consciousness of the discrepancy on the part of the author. 
To this uncertainty of English equivalents for Oriental sounds may 
perhaps, in great part, be attributed the diverse names of Mahomet, 
Mahommed, Jfahmvd, Mahmood, Mahmoud, Mehemet, Mehmet, 
Mohammed, and Muhwnmed. Within the last few years, a tendency 
has been shewn to make great changes in the English orthography 
of Oriental names ; the heroes of our boyish days, Aladin and 
Saladin, are scarcely to be identified in their modern dresses of 
'Ala-ud-din and Salah-vd-din. 

The reader must, therefore, consider this evil, of uncertain 
orthography in respect to Russian and Turkish names, as one not at 
present to be cured. 



20 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



one of the generals present ; but his name meets 
with little attention in the histories of that remark- 
al.lr war. Whatever may he his military status, 
his late imperial master seems to have showered 
down a profusion of favours on him : aid-de- 
cainp-iremTal. general of artillery, chef d'etat major, 
governor of Warsaw, lieutenant-general of Poland 
these are, or ought to he, positions of reward for 
high scTvkrs. Gortchakoft' was the representative 
of the czar in London on occasion of the funeral of 
the Duke of Wellington in 1852. The Russian troops, 
when the Danubian campaign of 1853 commenced, 
arc said to have wished that their leader had been 
Liiders rather than Gortchakoft'. The latter has been 
.-everely handled by the foreign correspondents of 
some of the newspapers. ' Though of gainly person 
and aristocratic bearing, he is not able to look you 
full in the face with honest frankness ; but, when 
speaking, eyes you askance, and turns away if 
you look on him. This peculiarity is very painful 
to Englishmen ; but nothing is more common in 

Russia It is generally his lot to be defeated 

in every combat ; but, with sublime impudence, he 
claims the victory, and sings a Te Deum for it. He 
oppresses the people in whose country he is in the 
most atrocious way ; yet makes them sign addresses, 
expressing profound gratitude for his humanity, j 
He robs and pillages by wholesale, and yet pomp- : 
ously announces that his mission is to " protect" 
his victims. He audaciously accuses the enemy of 
needless severity, and yet issues orders of the day 
in which he recommends his men to be ruthless in 
slaughter. He pretends to despise religious fanati- 
cism, and yet makes his brutal army believe that 
St Sergius and the Panagia are leading them to 
victory. He affects a scrupulous love of truth, and 
yet gravely tells his men that if they are killed for 
the orthodox faith, they will rise again after three 
days in their native villages.' Severe as this 
language is, still the prince's conduct in the 
Principalities afterwards afforded justification for 
portions of it. 

GortchakofFs proclamation on entering Mol- 
davia, adverted to in a former paragraph, was 
neither better nor worse than those which the 
elder Napoleon was wont to issue when he 
invaded the territories of others. An aggressor 
easily finds language to justify his aggression : 

' His majesty the emperor, my august lord and 
master, has ordered me to occupy your country 
with the armies the command of which he has 
deigned to confide to me. 

' We come among you neither with projects of 
conquest nor with the intention to modify the 
institutions under which you live, or the poh'tical 
position which solemn treaties have guaranteed 
to you. 

' The provisional occupation of the Principalities 
which I am ordered to effect, is for no other pur- 
pose than that of an immediate and efficacious 
protection in grave and unforeseen circumstances, 
when the Ottoman government, distrusting the 
numerous proofs of a sincere alliance which the 



imperial court has never ceased to give it since the 
conclusion of the Treaty of Adrianople, replies to 
our most equitable proposals with refusals, and 
opposes the most offensive suspicions to our 
disinterested advice. 

' In his magnanimity, in his constant desire to 
maintain peace in the East as well as in Europe, 
the emperor will avoid an aggressive war against 
Turkey, so long as his dignity and the interests of 
his empire shall permit him to do so. 

' On the day on which he obtains the reparation 
which is due to him, and the guarantees which he 
has a right to claim for the future, his troops shall 
return within the frontiers of Russia. 

' Inhabitants of Moldavia and Wallachia, I 
also execute an order of his imperial majesty in 
declaring to you, that the presence of his majesty's 
troops in your country shall not impose on you any 
fresh charges or contributions ; that the forage and 
rations for the troops shall in due time, and at 
a rate appointed and agreed on in advance by 
your governments, be paid for from our military 
treasury. 

' Look tranquilly to the future ! Engage with 
security in your agricultural labours and commercial 
speculations ! Be obedient to the laws under which 
you live, and to the established authorities. It is 
by the faithful discharge of these duties that you 
will acquire the best claim to the generous solicitude 
and the powerful protection of his majesty the 
emperor.' 

By reference to a ma]), it Avill be seen that the 
Danube separates the two Turkish provinces of 
Bulgaria and Wallachia throughout a distance of 
from 400 to 500 miles, from Orsova to Galatz ; that 
the remaining course of the Danube, to the Black 
Sea, separates the Dobrudscha or Dobrudja district 
of Bulgaria from Moldavia and from the Russian 
province of Bessarabia ; and that the Pruth enters 
the Danube near Galatz. In the first instance, 
the Russians did not cross the Danube into the 
Dobrudscha, but crossed the Pruth into Moldavia. 
The passages were made near the villages of 
Skouliany and Leova ; and the troops quickly 
marched to Jassy or Yassy, the capital of Moldavia. 

The Czar Nicholas had armed himself to the 
adoption of this step by the publication of a 
manifesto (June ^)* in which he gives quite a 
religious tone to the motives \vhich actuated his 
conduct. He professes his obligation, as head of 
the Greek orthodox church, to adopt stern measures 
against the sultan, on account of certain alleged 
infractions of agreements with the Christian sub- 
jects of the Porte ; ambition, he declares, has no 
influence with him, nor does Russia either seek or 
need conquests. It was a manifesto calculated to 
rouse the religious fanaticism of his people ; and in 
what this fanaticism consisted, may be seen from a 

* It is frequently necessary, in Russian documents, to give a 
double date. This arises froni the fact, that Russia still retains the 
Old Style, which England abandoned in 1752, and which has been 
abandoned by most other nations. June 14, in Russia, corresponds 
with June 26 in England. In any double date, the earlier of the 
two dates is Russian. A want of attention to these facts, gives rise 
to frequent mistakes on the part of English writers. 



RUSSIAN PREPARATIONS FOR WAR : 1853. 



21 



popular song which appeared at St Petersburg about 
that time, called the Song of a Russian Warrior. 
The following has been given as a prose translation 
of a part of this effusion : ' From the summit of 
the Balkan our brethren stretch out their hands to 
us with hope and prayer. Their sufferings are not 
unfelt by us. Russia has compassion on them, and 
goes forth to combat for them. It is there that our 
ancestors received the holy baptism, which rescued 
them from the darkness of idolatry. There is the 
sanctuary of our faith. It is there that the chalice 
of salvation restored them to life. The mother of 
orthodox Russia, Kief, holy and sublime city is 
she not the god-daughter of Constantinople ? Those 
traditions are sacred to us. They contain the pro- 
mise and the pledge of destinies which are gathering 
strength in silence. We go forth to chastise the 
proud, to avenge our altar, insulted by the impious. 
Burst forth, then, holy war ! Let our cry, the 
precursor of victory, be raised ! That cry is : " All 
for the God of Russia, for the Czar of the Russians !" ' 
This may be said at once that if the Russians were 
not destined to vanquish the Turks, it was through 
no want of fiery impulse given by the priesthood 
of the Russian Church ; and it is equally apparent, 
from events which transpired about the same time 
on the other side of the Danube, that the Turks 
were in like manner worked up to excitement by 
the priests of Islam;* so much did this contest 
partake of the characteristics of that most sad of 
all conflicts a religious war. 

When the Russians entered Jassy, they found 
that much had been done to smooth their path 
an address of homage to the czar had been pre- 
pared by the Russian emissaries in the city ; and 
the Hospodar of Moldavia, Prince Ghika, was 
very lukewarm in his allegiance towards his 
master the sultan. In like manner, when Prince 
Gortchakoff, towards the close of July, made a 
journey of 160 miles from Jassy to Bucharest, 
the capital of Wallachia, he was received by a 
deputation of bishops and nobles, with obsequious- 
ness and adulation. Whatever may be the state 
of opinion among the mass of the people, it is 
evident that the late czar by means of stars, 
ribbons, snuff-boxes, swords, and pecuniary trea- 
sures more immediately useful exercised a power- 
ful influence over the minds of official persons in 
nearly all the countries which bordered his vast 
dominions ; and, in respect to the Principalities, 
community of religious belief came in aid of this 
patronising spirit. 

Before the Russians encountered any Turkish 
forces, they effected their worst in spoiling the 
mouth of the Danube. Of all the channels by 
which this river empties its waters into the Black 
Sea, the channel known as the Sulina Mouth is 
the only one practicable for large shipping. It 
was one of the evil consequences of the Treaty of 
Adrianople, signed in 1829, that the Sulina Mouth 
was made over by Turkey to Russia, with power 

* Islam (' salvation') is the name which Mohammedans give to 
their religion ; it is their equivalent for our word Mohammedanism. 



to establish a quarantine station. This quarantine 
station has been so managed as to give Russia an 
effective control over the trade of the Danube. 
The Danube is the outlet for Austrian trade with 
the Black Sea and Constantinople ; and Austria, 
interested in the maintenance of a clear channel, 
agreed to the possession by Russia of the Sulina 
Mouth, on condition that a sand-bar across the 
mouth should be kept constantly dredged and 
deepened. This condition Russia repeatedly 
evaded ; and it had for years become pretty 
evident, that she was willing enough to benefit 
Odessa and the Dniester by contributing to stag- 
nate Galatz and the Danube. Austria had long- 
had much to complain of in this respect ; but when 
Gortchakoff entered the Principalities, still more 
arbitrary measures were adopted to check the trade 
of the Danube. Although corn was sent down that 
river in such large quantities in July and August, 
that more than a thousand vessels were required for 
its further removal, yet these vessels were checked 
by Russian obstructions, and by the middle of Sep- 
tember, a vast quantity of corn was accumulated, 
useless both to buyers and sellers. 

Meanwhile the Russians assumed complete 
governing control in the Principalities; ordered 
the two hospodars, Ghika and Stirbey, to obey the 
czar and not the sultan ; made contributions on 
the inhabitants ; forced some of the younger men 
to serve in the Russian army ; issued proclama- 
tions and decrees in the czar's name ; and punished 
those who persisted in faithful allegiance to their 
Ottoman master. The czar, having gone too far 
to recede, made arrangements for strengthening 
his armies by a new levy of 7 in the 1000 ; and 
Gortchakoff, assured of reinforcements, became 
more and more arrogant in his proceedings. 
While at Bucharest, he issued a proclamation, in 
which it is difficult to see what difference was made 
between the Deity and the czar : ' Russia is called 
to annihilate paganism ; and those who would 
oppose her in that sacred mission, shall be anni- 
hilated with the pagans ! Long life to the czar ! 
Long life to the God of the Russians /' Giurgevo, on 
the north bank of the Danube, opposite Rustchuk, 
was selected as the chief Russian camp ; and by the 
months of September and October, many indica- 
tions were presented of an intention on the part of 
the Russians to cross the Danube into Bulgaria. 

In consequence of the proceedings of the Turkish 
government presently to be noticed Omar Pacha 
received orders to summon the Russian army to 
quit the Turkish territories. Accordingly, on or 
about 8th October, Omar Pacha wrote thus to 
Prince Gortchakoff: 

' While the Sublime Porte has exhausted all 
means of conciliation to obtain at once peace and 
its own independence, the court of Russia has not 
ceased to raise difficulties in the way of any such 
settlement, and has ended with the violation of 
treaties invading the two Principalities of 
Moldavia and Wallachia, integral parts of the 
Ottoman Empire. 



22 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



' True to its pacific system, the Porte, instead 
of exercising its right to make reprisals, con- 
fined itself even then to protesting, and did not 
deviate from the way that might lead to an 
arrangement. 

' Russia, on the contrary, far from evincing 
corresponding sentiments, has ended by rejecting 
the proposals recommended by the august 
mediating courts proposals which were alike 
necessary to the honour and to the security of 
the Porte. There only remains for the latter the 
indispensable necessity of war. But as the inva- 
sion of the Principalities, and the violation of 
treaties which has attended it, are the veritable 
causes of the war, the Sublime Porte, as a last 
expression of its pacific sentiments, proposes to 
your excellency, by my intervention, the evacuation 
of the two provinces ; and grants for your decision 
a term of fifteen days, to date from the receipt 
of this letter. If within this interval a negative 
answer shall reach me from your excellency, the 
commencement of hostilities will be the natural 
consequence.' 

Prince GortchakofFs reply to Omar Pacha's 
missive was brief enough ; it simply announced 
that the prince 'had no orders to commence 
hostilities, nor to conclude peace, nor to evacuate 
the Principalities.' It was tantamount to a 
refusal to .discuss such matters with the Turkish 
generalissimo. 

It now becomes necessary to consider what was 
the military position of Russia at that period ; 
what amount of force she had poured into the 
Principalities, to secure her 'material guarantees ;' 
what reserves were in store ; and on what 
principle of organisation her military system was 
conducted. 

The most discordant accounts have been written 
concerning the numerical strength of the Russian 
armies some writers magnifying the force to 
nearly 1,500,000 men ; while others enumerate so 
many causes of weakness, as to bring down the 
effective number to something under 400,000. 
As in most similar cases, the truth probably occu- 
pies a middle position between these extremes. 
The main bulk of the army is entirely recruited 
from serfs. When once a levy is made, and a 
peasant drawn for the army, the chances of his 
return to his native village in life and health are 
so few, that his relations take leave of him as one 
about to be removed from them for ever ! His 
term of service is long, and during this term his 
hardships are many ; for blows and scanty food, 
piercing cold and stagnant marshes, are too often 
the return for his fidelity to the czar his master. 
The infantry are formed into regiments of the line, 
the Guards, and the Grenadiers. These regiments 
are larger than with us, comprising frequently 
four battalions of 1000 men each. A Russian 
account, drawn up in 1853, gives the infantry of 
the active army at about 504,000; the cavalry, 
63,000 ; the artillery, 20,000 ; the engineers, 13,000 ; 
besides this active or movable army of 600,000, 



there were enumerated the corps of invalids and 
criminals in the garrisons and hospitals, forming a 
stationary force of 90,000 ; the reserve of 250,000, 
formed to fill up gaps in the active army, and 
60,000 irregulars. All these would form a military 
force of above 1,000,000, provided the numbers are 
not modified to suit the imperial views. Under 
ordinary circumstances, vacancies are filled up 
by an annual levy of 5 in 1000 of the male inha- 
bitants within certain limits of age ; these recruits 
are intended to replace those who fall in war, and 
those also a mere fraction who live to be 
discharged from the army after their term of 
service. But in times of exigency, such as those 
which occurred in 1853-4-5, the levies are more 
extensive and more frequent. 

A diplomatic paper of some value gives the 
numbers and positions of several corps of the 
Russian army just before the Russians and Turks 
were about to come in collision. It was written 
by Sir Hamilton Seymour, the British ambassador 
at St Petersburg, apparently in reply to queries 
forwarded by the Earl of Clarendon. It is dated 
October 27, 1853 ; and the following is a portion of 
its contents : ' The disposition of the Russian forces, 
according to an account which your lordship may 
rely upon, is as follows. The fourth corps, composed 
of four divisions under the orders of Prince 
Gortchakoff and General Dannenberg, are quartered 
at and about Bucharest. This force hardly exceeds 
60,000, comprising detached bodies of troops en- 
gaged in guarding the line of the Danube some 
200 leagues in extent, from Widdin to Ismail. 
The three points of the Danube which are the most 
closely observed, as those at which the passage 
of a Turkish army is the most to be apprehended, 
are Widdin, Xicopoli, and Silistria. Prince Gort- 
chakoffs reserves, formed of the third corps of 
60,000, under the command of General Baron 
Osten-Sacken, are in cantonments between Kieff 
and the Pruth. The fifth corps, 60,000 strong, 
under General Liiders, are quartered about Odessa 
and in Bessarabia ; it was the third division of 
this corps which was lately disembarked at Soucoum 
Kale. The sixth corps, another body of 60,000 
men, are at present quartered at Moscow. Two 
corps of cavalry of the reserve remain among 
their colonies at Krumenshuk and Kharkoff. The 
second corps, commanded by General Paniutine, is 
stationed in Poland. The first corps, under the 
orders of General Sievers, occupies the Baltic 
provinces and Lithuania. The Corps de la Garde, 
and that of the Grenadiers, each of 40,000 men, 
are quartered in the capital, at Novogorod, and 
2s*arva. The corps of the Caucasus, with its reserve 
division stationed at Taganrog, forms a force of 
80,000 men. The troops in Mingrelia, under the 
command of General Beboutoff, which are destined 
to operate in Asia Minor, amount at present to 
25,000. This force, however, can at any time be 
reinforced by detachments from the army of 
Prince Woronzow. I will only observe that the 
above statements, although meagre and incomplete, 



TURKISH PREPARATIONS FOR WAR : 1853. 



23 



are, as far as they go, worthy of confidence.' * To 
render some of these details intelligible, it may be 
well to remark that the Russian military forces are 
mostly grouped in corps, army corps, or corps 
d'armee, each comprising about 60,000 men, and 
each forming a complete and distinct army, with 
its due proportion of infantry, cavalry, artillery, 
engineers, guns, and stores of every kind. 

According to the best accounts, the Russian 
troops which crossed the Pruth in July 1853 were 
the following : 

3 Infantry Divisions, of 16,000 men each, = 48,000 
2 Cavalry Divisions, = 8,000 

1 Infantry Brigade, . = 8,000 

1 Battalion Chasseurs, = 4,000 

10 Cossack Kegiments, of 600 men each, = 6,000 



Total, 



74,000 



An infantry division in the Russian army, it may 
here be observed, has two brigades, each brigade 
t\vo regiments, and each regiment 4000 men. 
Each regiment has a battery of 12 guns ; so that 
the above force was probably accompanied by 
about 260 guns. A few thousands more crossed 
the Pruth in August, making the total number 
about 80,000 that is, supposing the regiments had 
their full complement, and making no deductions 
for those who fell by the way, under the influence 
of cholera and fever. The troops belonged chiefly 
to the fourth army corps ; and the principal officers 
under Prince Gortchakoffwere Liiders, Dannenberg, 
Simonoff, Perloff, Liprandi, Mrod, Sixtel, Moller, 
Engelhardt, and Fischbach. These names will 
shew how largely the Russian army is officered 
by Germans, and may serve to explain the leaning 
of German military men towards the czar and 
Russia. 

The Russian soldiers, it is easy to conceive, 
have few home-sympathies to warm their hearts 
after they once enter the army. They are drawn 
for twenty-five years of service ; but after ten or 
fifteen years, they are withdrawn from the active 
to the reserve battalions or squadrons of their regi- 
ment. As a reserve, they are restored to a certain 
amount of liberty ; but the old ties have been 
severed, the poor men lead a vagabond sort of 
life, and they are liable to be called upon for 
further service in times of exigency. Germain de 
Lagny says : ' When a man is once enlisted, the 
brutality of his instructors, the cruelty of his 
officers, the privations of every description which 
he has to undergo, and the passive, animal-like 
submission to the requirements of a torturing 
system of discipline, soon reduce him to the level 
of a mere walking-machine. At the expiration of 

twenty-five years' service the state owes 

him nothing, and gives him nothing, except the 
liberty of providing, in any manner he can, for his 
own support and that of his family. If he is merely 
lame or deaf, he becomes a fireman or a breaker 

* Parliamentary Papers on Eastern Affairs. Part II. p. 212. 



of stones upon the highways Most of the 

men, on their discharge, become ostlers, porters, or 
beggars. Some drag out a miserable existence of 
suffering along the public roads, in the endeavour 
to regain the village in which they were born.'* 




Kussian Soldiers. 

Bad as this system may be, it behoves Englishmen 
to be cautious in condemning it, until the dis- 
charged soldiers of their own country are better 
provided for than has hitherto been the case. 

At the end of October, the Russian troops had 
spread throughout the two Principalities, and had 
penetrated to the north bank of the Danube. 
Here we must leave them a while, and attend to 
the course of events in the trans -Danubian 
provinces. 



TURKISH PREPARATIONS FOR WAR, UNDER 
OMAR PACHA. 

While Gortchakoff was thus advancing to the 
Danube, many agitating scenes were occurring in 
the Turkish metropolis. 

The departure of Prince Menchikoff from Con- 
stantinople, with all the indications of offended 
hauteur and disappointed diplomacy, was of course 
a grave event in the eyes of the Turkish ministers 
and their sultan, and not less so in the estimation of 
the ambassadors from the different European courts. 
All felt that there was a machine under their 

* The Knout and the Rtissians, p. 35. 



24 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



guidance in a very fragile and dislocated condition ; 
that this machine Avould be sadly shaken by any 
actual conflict with so powerful a neighbour as 
Russia ; that it would be desirable to stave off the evil 
day as long as possible ; and that it would be a duty to 
allay, rather than excite the passions of the people. 
Many writers have since asserted, that if the Turkish 
government had been left to itself untrammelled 
by advice from the Allied ambassadors, Menchi- 
kofFs demands would probably have been complied 
with. It may be so ; but Turkey would in that 
case have assuredly been more bound in shackles 
than ever, and the Russian Colossus would have 
made one more step towards the planting of his 
foot upon Constantinople.* 

It soon appeared, that had the mild-tempered 
sultan been ever so peacefully disposed at that 
period, he would scarcely have been permitted to 
succumb -. his own subjects would have risen against 
him. On the 28th of May Menchikoff having 
departed on the 21st the Turkish government 
sent an official note to the several embassies of the 
foreign powers, explaining the circumstances which 
had arisen. The note expressed the sultan's 
acquiescence in the Menchikoff demands respecting 
the Holy Places ; it announced the sultan's deter- 
mination to issue a firman, consolidating and 
securing the privileges of the Greek Church 
throughout the Turkish Empire; it stated that 
Russia had insisted upon an express treaty with her, 
and her alone, binding the sultan to these new 
arrangements ; but it shewed how inconsistent 
this would be with the dignity and independence 
of the empire. ' However great,' the note argues, 
' may be the desire of the porte to cherish and pre- 
serve more and more the most amicable relations 
' with Russia, she can never engage herself by such 
a guarantee towards a foreign government, either 
concluding with it a treaty, or signing a simply 
official note, without compromising gravely her 
independence and the most fundamental rights of 
the sultan over his own subjects.' The sultan 
shewed his good faith by issuing, a few days later, 
the firman in question, addressed to the Creek 
Patriarch at Constantinople, and confirming certain 
rights and immunities to the Christian subjects of 
the Porte. A diplomatic correspondence ensued 
between Reshid Pacha on the part of Turkey, and 
Count Nesselrode on the part of Russia ; but it soon 
became evident that the departure of Menchikoff 
was a sign of warlike intentions. It was in 
Nesselrode's note, of the 31st of May, that ' material 
guarantees ' w r ere spoken of as the only means of 
averting war : and it is now known that warlike 
preparations had been commenced even before 
that date. 

When the crossing of the Pruth by the Russians 
became known at Constantinople, the news caused 

Quand le Colosse Kusse aura un pied aux Dardanelles, un autre 



maladroitement divisee, comme les villcs dc la Grdce devant les rois 
de Macedoine, aura probablcraent le meme sort.' THIERS. Dn 
Ccnsulat et de V Empire. 



great excitement. Reshid Pacha and Mustapha 
Pacha, two ministers who had endeavoured to 
bring about a peaceful result by negotiation, 
became at once unpopular ; the sultan was urged 
to dismiss them, and was only prevented from so 
doing by the strong expostulations of Lord Stratford 
de Redcliffc. The Porte issued (14th July) a 
formal protest against the invasion of the Princi- 
palities, characterising that invasion as a virtual 
declaration of war, and refusing to submit to it as a 
menace. The war-party in the Divan, or Grand 
Council at Constantinople, headed by Mehemet 
AH the seraskier, were desirous to precipitate 
matters, against the advice of Reshid Pacha and 
the peace-party. 

It may be useful here to explain, that the terms 
' Divan,' ' Porte,' ' Sublime Porte,' are used conven- 
tionally for the great council of the empire, or for 
the ministry, as we should call it in England. This 
council is formed by the grand vizier, the Sheikh- 
ul-Islam, the seraskier, the capudan pacha, and 
other great officers of state, equivalent in some 
respects to the members of the Privy Council in 
England. These dignitaries meet tw r ice a week, in 
ordinary times, at the house and under the presi- 
dency of the grand vizier, who may be regarded 
as the prime-minister, to discuss and settle the 
general affairs of the government ; but on special 
occasions, some of the higher members form a secret 
or cabinet council, to decide matters of urgency. 
There are ten subordinate councils, presided over 
respectively by the Ministers of Instruction, Justice, 
War, Foreign Affairs, &c. ; and each comprising 
several members ; but the principal ministers 
alone form the Grand Council, or Divan. 

On one occasion, after the rupture, but before 
the declaration of Avar, the council was assembled, 
when a body of about forty softas, or students 
of the Koran, appeared and demanded admis- 
sion to the council-chamber. On being admitted, 
they presented a petition asking for war : it Avas 
in some sort a fanatic petition, for it was signed 
by ulemas and softas Moslem haters of all 
forms of Christianity. It has been one of the 
unhappy features of this war, that however 
just as betAyeen the sultan and his Avould-be 
oppressor the czar, it has roused the fiery zeal, 
and has indeed been in great part caused by 
the fiery zeal, of the followers both of the 
Crescent and the Cross. The petition presented to 
the council contained many quotations from the 
Koran, enjoining AA^ar against the enemies of 
Islam ; and its prayer hinted at threats of disturb- 
ance, if Avar were longer delayed. If any of the 
ministers expostulated, they Avere met with the 
answer : ' Here are the words of the Koran. If you 
are Mussulmans, you are bound to obey. You are 
noAV listening to foreign and infidel ambassadoi'S, 
Avho are the enemies of the faith ; AVC are the 
children of the Prophet ; AVC have an army, and 
that army cries out with us for Aval', to avenge the 
insults which the giaours have heaped upon us.' 

A grand council of a special nature was 



TURKISH PREPARATIONS FOR WAR : 1853. 



25 



summoned, to be held at the sultan's palace on the 
25th of September, composed of the chief notabilities 
of the empire. It was called upon to decide, whether 
a mode of mediation, proposed by the ambassadors 
the celebrated ' Vienna Note,' which will come 
under consideration in a later page should be 
accepted or rejected. The decision was unanimous, 
that the Divan should take what may be called 
a high tone in the matter ; and this decision was 
communicated to the representatives of the four 
powers. On the next day, the council again met, 
and presented to the sultan a series of resolute 
decisions, tending to bring- matters to a crisis with 
Russia. 

The state of feeling in Constantinople at that 
time was, indeed, one of great excitement; and 
the sultan was forced onward by a pressure too 
strong to be resisted. Abdul-Medjid has few of 
those characteristics which correspond with the 
popular notion of a Turk : he is a quiet, some- 
what indolent, well-meaning man, who would 
fain allow the world to go on smoothly without 
much interference on his part. The Earl of 
Carlisle, who saw the sultan in 1853, says of 
him : ' He looks pale, old for his age about 
thirty-one, I believe and he has lately grown 
corpulent. The impression his aspect conveys is 
of a man gentle, unassuming, feeble, unstrung, 
doomed ; no energy of purpose gleamed in that 
passive glance ; no augury of victory sat on that 
still brow.'* The sultan, as suzerain over the 
Pacha of Egypt, had called upon him for his con- 
tingent of troops ; and this call had been responded 
to many weeks before the actual commencement 
of hostilities. An Egyptian fleet arrived at Con- 
stantinople as early as the middle of July, with 
a force of 12,000 troops. Turcoman chiefs had 
arrived, also, from Asia Minor, roused by the 
apprehended danger to Islam, and had offered to 
bring vast reinforcements of the wild and turbu- 
lent spirits whom they had under their command. 
Day after day, assemblages of the people took 
place in the streets and squares of the metropolis ; 
and warlike cries were echoed from one to another. 
On one occasion, the ulemas and softas excited 
the people to such a degree that the sultan became 
alarmed ; he feared for the safety of himself and 
his capital ; and he requested the English and 
French ambassadors to send for two or three 
of their ships, which were at that time stationed a 
little without or southward of the Dardanelles. 
This was done; and there was presented the 
strange spectacle of six war-frigates, three French 
and three English, moored in the Bosphorus, and 
intended to protect an unwarlike sultan from his 
warlike subjects. 

With or without the desire of the sultan, war 
approached. A levy of 80,000 men was made early 
in September ; and troops gradually concentrated in 
great number in and near Constantinople. Under 
the old Turkish system, before Sultan Mahmoud, 

* Diary in TurJtish and Greek Waters, p. 62. 



father of Abdul-Medjid, had begun to introduce his 
army reforms, whenever the Porte declared war, all 
the inhabitants of each district, between the ages 
i of sixteen and sixty, were summoned to join the 
standards of their respective pachas, and to ren- 
dezvous at a certain place. Those who liked the 
war, and liked their commanders, joined the army, 
but were under no obligation to serve throughout 
a campaign; they remained, or returned home, 
as their inclination directed. Even the Janissaries 
did the same; and also the Spahis, or cavalry. 
This, in truth, is the very spirit of Oriental war- 
fare. Under the modern system, however, by which 
a standing army has been formed on the European 
model, a levy or conscription is conducted on 
definite rules, and each soldier becomes bound 
for a certain time. 

At length, on the 4th of October, the sultan issued 
a manifesto ; and on the following day, a declaration 
of war against Russia was published in Constan- 
tinople. In this declaration, all the main points of 
the quarrel are touched upon the desire of Turkey 
to remain at peace ; the demands of Russia con- 
cerning the Holy Places ; the unreasonable tone in 
which those demands Avere made ; the founding 
of new claims respecting the Greek Church, after 
the question of the Holy Places had been appa- 
rently settled ; the seizure of the Principalities as 
a ' material guarantee ; ' the ' Vienna Note,' and 
its conditions ; the evident desire of Russia that 
the terms of that note should be left vague, in 
order that she might interpret them as she pleased ; 
and the necessity thence arising that Turkey should 
repel aggression by force of arms. A singular 
proof was afforded of the degree in which Turkey 
now conforms to the usages of European nations, 
in comparison with the system of past days. Sir 
James Porter was British ambassador at Constan- 
tinople exactly a century ago; and Sir George 
Larpent, in his recent publication of Porter's 
manuscripts,* gives the ambassador's account of 
the Turkish mode of declaring war in those days : 
' When the Turks have formed a resolution to 
declare war against any power, they discover their 
resentment immediately by their treatment of 
its minister; they imagine that, by insulting 
his person, they affront the crowned head that 
has offended them ; and consider him an hostage 
in their hands, whom they must secure. Their 
constant practice has been to imprison them in 
the Seven Towers.' Compare the above with the 
following paragraph, in the declaration of war 
in 1853 : ' It is distinctly to be understood, that 
should the reply of Prince Gortchakoff (to the 
demand for the evacuation of the Principalities) 
be negative, the Russian agents are to quit the 
Ottoman states, and that the commercial relations 
of the respective subjects of the two governments 
shall be broken off. At the same time, the Sublime 
Porte will not consider it just to lay an embargo 
upon Russian merchant-vessels, as has been the 

* Turkey ; its History and Progress. 



2G 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



practice. Consequently, they will be warned to 
resort either to the Black Sea, or to the Mediter- 
ranean Sea, as they shall see fit, within a term which 
shall hereafter be fixed. Moreover, the Ottoman 
government, being unwilling to place hinderances 
in the way of commercial intercourse between the 
subjects of friendly powers, will, during the war, 
leave the straits open to their mercantile marine.' 

No sooner was war thus declared, than Constan- 
tinople became wild with excitement. The decla- 
ration or manifesto was read in all the mosques, 
and was received with great enthusiasm. Wealthy 
Turks at once made large contributions to the 
national treasury, to enable the sultan to bear 
the expenses of the war ; and some offered to 
clothe and equip bodies of troops. The Bosphorus 
was alive with caiques, or boats, bringing over 
Turcomans and Bashi-Bazouks from Asia pic- 
turesque ragged rascals, who would certainly 
fight for Islam, but who had a keen eye for 
plunder whenever opportunity should offer. It 
was a strange sight at Constantinople in October ; 
Turcomans, Koords, Arabs, armed with scimitars, 
bows and arrows, and lances, roamed about 
the streets, bringing back the past scenes of the 
fifteenth century, when the Osmanli* conquered 
Constantinople ; and these contrasted with the 
picturesque Albanian, and the Europeauised Nizam, 
or regular troops. 

It now becomes necessary to notice the Turkish 
army, its numbers and its organisation. Russia, 
as has been seen, has at command an armed force 
of vast amount, even if we take the lowest of many 
different estimates ; and it is interesting to know 
how far Turkey is capable of meeting her formid- 
able neighbour in the field. Turkey, besides 
difficulties of other kinds, has had to contend with 
that of substituting a European for an Asiatic 
organisation of her armies. 

The modern reforms, or attempts at reform, in 
Turkey, are closely associated with the terrible 
massacre of the Janissaries in bygone years that 
coup d'e"tat which, like some other coups d'etat, has 
been often regarded as a necessary though violent 
cure for a social malady. The Janissaries were, for 
the most part, chosen from the robust Moslems of 
Bosnia and Albania ; and they gradually acquired, 
through the favour of successive sultans, such an 
enormous military power, as virtually to rule the 
whole empire; for the Janissaries had more con- 
cern than any other persons in the setting up and 
pulling down of sultans. The existence of this 
troop of body-guards rendered the Turkish govern- 
ment unfitted for any amalgamation with the 
powers of Christian nations. The Divan could 
promise nothing with certainty, for the Janissaries 
could revoke its decisions ; and it could accomplish 
no reforms which interfered with the immunities, 
or offended the prejudices, of this powerful body. 
They usurped the chief appointments of the 

* OsmanU and Ottoman are nearly equivalent terms, derived from 
Osman or Othman, who founded the present Turkish dynasty about 
a century before the Turks captured Constantinople 



government, holding or conferring them nearly 
as they pleased ; and they inspired much terror 
in the population by their lawlessness and cruelty. 
When, therefore, the late Sultan Mahmoud began 
to play the part of an Osmanli Peter the Great, 
reforming and civilising his subjects whether they 
would or not, he found the Janissaries the first great 
bar to his progress. These men were medieval 
rather than modern soldiers, and they gradually 
found themselves eclipsed in strategy and tactics 
by soldiers who had studied the modern art of 
war. The sultan resolved on the re-organisation 
of his army on the European model ; the Janis- 
saries refused to submit ; and hence arose a choice 
between two evils either to see the state crumble 
to pieces, or to crush this unmanageable body. 
The sultan chose the latter alternative, and achieved 
his work in a tragical way : he caused nearly the 
whole of the Janissaries, 25,000 in number, to be 
massacred in June 1825 ; and thus ended a military 
corps which had existed during four centuries and 
a half. The Nizam Djedid, or Europeanised troops, 
triumphed over the Janissaries, who refused to be 
Europeanised. 

Most writers agree in opinion that this destruction, 
terrible though it was, has been salutary to Turkey. 
The road was cleared for the introduction of mea- 
sures which could alone secure the existence of a 
tottering empire. Since this change, the Turkish 
troops, if well commanded, have shewn that they 
can adapt themselves to European discipline with- 
out losing their old bravery. The Divan regained 
the power, which it had so long virtually lost by 
the arrogant assumption of the Janissaries, of 
guiding its own councils, and organising its own 
army. But Turkey has, nevertheless, suffered in 
many ways by this sudden and startling act. As 
soon as the Janissaries were despatched, Sultan 
Mahmoud resolved to carry out his schemes of 
reform in costume, usages, tactics, and conscription. 
These reforms were repugnant to Moslem feeling. 
The Osmanli saw no reason why he should not 
continue to fight the infidel in the same manner 
as before, and he long and stubbornly resisted the 
sultan's European tendency. The new regulations 
were often enforced at the point of the bayonet, 
and many a bloody scene was the consequence. It 
is, moreover, to be observed that, after the massacre 
of the Janissaries, there was scarcely a Mussulman 
family in Bosnia and Albania who had not to 
deplore the loss of some relative ; and there thence 
arose a deadly hatred against the government in 
those pachaliks. How that hatred shewed itself, 
may be easily explained. Whatever may have 
been the despotic arrogance of the Janissaries, they 
were always ready to defend the Ottoman Empire 
from enemies, whether Russian or any other. 
When, however, the tragedy had been fulfilled, 
the state of things became changed. The few who 
fled, and saved their lives, raised to a greater pitch 
of fury the relatives of those who had fallen ; while 
a host of fanatic Mussulman priests went about 
everywhere exciting the people to vengeance 



TURKISH PREPARATIONS FOR WAR : 1853. 



27 



against the reforming sultan. When the Russians 
invaded Turkey in 1828-9, the fruit of these dis- 
contents shewed itself plainly ; for the sultan in 
vain endeavoured to persuade the Mussulmans of 
Bosnia and Albania to take up arms against the 
giaour the Czar of Russia ; for they deemed the 
sultan himself little better than a giaour an enemy 
to the true faith. Much of Omar Pacha's military 
skill has been exerted in quelling disturbances 
among these people ; and Turkey yet feels the 
opposition of those Moslems who, being what we 
might term Tories in their creed, have never 
relished the Radical or reforming tendencies 
of Sultan Mahmoud. It is one of the many 
strange things in Turkey, that the Slavon Moslems 
of Bosnia those who were Slavonic Christians a 
few centuries ago are more bigoted in their faith 
and usages than even the regular Turks themselves 
the Moslems of the race of Osman. 

The old or unreformed Turkish army comprised 
the Spahis and the Janissaries, highly favoured 
cavalry and infantry bodies ; together with a 
larger number of troops of inferior grade. The 
campaigning tactics were based on the plan of 
sending forth the humbler troops to bear the 
burden and bloodshed of the contest, and then 
winning the day by a terrible onslaught with the 
Spahis and Janissaries, who came fresh upon an 
exhausted enemy. It was this impetuous mode 
of attack with the choice reserve corps which 
gained so many victories for the Osmanlis in past 
ages. When the modern European infantry 
system became perfected, and a line of troops 
steadily met with the bayonet the fierce attack of 
any horse-troops whatever, then did the Oriental 
system of the Turks cease to produce its wonted 
and wonderful results. 

Under the influence of the reforms wrought by 
Sultans Mahmoud and Abdul-Medjid, the Turkish 
army has assumed a state partaking both of the 
European and the Oriental. In the first place, 
the bulk of the active army is grouped in six 
ordtis, or divisions, each of which constitutes a 
kind of small army in itself. In a state of peace, 
these six divisions are located in as many different 
parts of the wide-spreading empire from the 
Hungarian frontier in the north-west, to Mesopo- 
tamia in the south-east ; but, in a state of war, 
these locations would of course be modified. The 
division stationed at or near Constantinople is 
treated as a kind of Imperial Guard, and is better 
trained, clothed, and armed than the rest. This 
organisation into six camps, army corps, or divi- 
sions, was completed in 1843 ; and the six armies 
so formed constitute the Nizam, or regular troops. 
The men are engaged for five years, after which 
they may retire to their homes ; but at any time 
during the next seven years,, they are liable to be 
called out to active duty as a reserve corps, under 
the name of the Redif. It will be useful to bear 
in mind this relation between the Nizam and the 
Redif. The government provides directly for all 
the wants of the soldiers ; and, according to 



M. Ubicini, each man receives, in addition to the 
different articles necessary for his equipment, daily 
rations of the following amounts : 

300 dirhems, . = 2 Ibs. tread, 

80 . . . = 8| oz. meat, 

15 it . . KC ; 1* QZ. butter, 

23 a . . . = 2f oz. rice, 

6 a . . ^ oz. salt, 

1 Ib. vegetables. 

Each ordu, or army, is commanded by a mushir 
(field-marshal) ; it has two corps, each under a 
ferik (general of division) ; each corps has three 
brigades, under as many livas (generals of brigade). 
The seraskier pacha is commander-in-chief of the 
whole six ordus collectively. Each ordu com- 
prises 6 regiments of infantry, 4 of cavalry, and 
1 of artillery; and amounts, when complete, to 
about 21,000 men. Each infantry regiment has 
4 battalions, of 8 companies each ; the colonel 
of each regiment is a mir alai, while the com- 
mandant of each battalion is called a lin-lashi. 
The cavalry regiments consist of 6 squadrons each. 
The artillery regiments each comprise 70 guns. 

So far as the theory of this organisation is 
concerned, it seems to be well conceived. Each 
ordu, or complete army, has its own distinct store 
of materiel ; besides its tents and stores, it has 
a triple supply of ammunition. The Redif is 
divided into ordus as well as the Nizam ; each 
army corps of active troops having its own reserve 
or redif, marshalled into regiments, battalions, 
squadrons, and companies, and commanded by a 
staff of officers. The redif assembles once a 
month at the head-quarters of its ordu ; and its 
officers are under the direct control of the mushir 
of the ordu. Hence it follows, that the rdif 
is nearly equivalent to another army, and raises 
the total force of each ordu or army to something 
like 40,000 men. 

But the nizam and the redif do not constitute 
the whole force of the Turkish army. There are 
four central corps of artillery, together about 5200 
strong ; there is a brigade of engineers, about 
1600 ; there are detached corps at Crete, Tripoli, 
and Tunis, 16,000; there are the Auxiliary troops, 
which vary in amount according to the willingness 
of the pachas of the respective provinces to assist 
their sultan in times of difficulty ; there are the 
Irregular troops, consisting of the semi-barbarous 
Bashi-Bazouks and other wild adventurers, who 
are with difficulty brought under subjection to 
European discipline. It is a remarkable element 
in the recent reforms, too, that a very efficient 
Turkish constabulary or police has been formed. 
They serve as a permanent guard whenever the 
ordu has to leave its appointed location. The 
whole constabulary is divided into brigades ; each 
brigade into companies, officered by captains ; and 
each company into detachments, under sergeants. 
The territorial arrangement is such, that every 
eyalet, or great division of the empire, has a 
constabulary brigade ; every province in each 
eyalet has a constabulary company ; and every 



28 



CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH LED TO THE WAR. 



department in each province has a constabulary 
detachment. The constables are all well mounted 
and armed, and they form collectively a valuable 
body of 30,000 men presenting some points of 
resemblance to the constabulary force hi Ireland. 

A rough estimate has been made, that these 
several bodies of armed defenders of the Ottoman 
Empire may, in their fullest organisation, present 
something like the following numbers : 

The Nizam, . = 150,000 

Kedif, .... = 150,000 

Auxiliaries, . = 120,000 

Irregulars, = 90,000 

,/ Constabulary, . . . = 30,000 

Total, .... 540,000 

But this, like many other armies on paper, differs 
widely from the number which the sultan could 
actually make available at any given time. The 
sultan would have as much difficulty in raising 
and maintaining 300,000 as the czar in raising 
and maintaining 1,000,000 perhaps more. The 
Ottoman government made two levies during the 
course of the summer and autumn of 1853, and 
called upon its various tributary pachas to come 
forth in defence of Islam. Troops gradual!}' 
concentrated towards the Danube, as the line of 
operation most threatened by Russia; and an 
endeavour was made to mark out a course of 
strategy for the defence of the principal towns in 
Bulgaria. What attitude England and France 
assumed at this time, with their powerful fleets 
near at hand but doing nothing, will come for 
consideration in a future chapter. All we have 
at present to bear in mind is, that Turkey entered 
upon the contest single-handed. 

Who was the general selected by the czar to 
manage the Danubian campaign, has been stated ; 
and it now becomes desirable to glance similarly 
at GortchakofFs antagonist, Omar Pacha, a much 
more remarkable man remarkable for his change 
of nationality, his change of religion, his cool 
bravery, his unquestioned skill as a military leader, 
and the success which has almost uniformly 
attended his movements in the field. 

Omar Pacha's career has indeed been a strange 
one. Born at the village of Vlaski, in Croatia, in 
1801, he was an Austrian subject. His name was 
Lattas, and his father was administrator-general of 
the circle of Ogulini. He studied while a youth in 
the school of mathematics at Thurm, in Transyl- 
vania ; and then entered the Austrian military 
corps of Fonts et Chaussees. The young man, 
Michael Lattas, wrote well and quickly, and had a 
competent knowledge of mathematics ; but after 
filling a clerkship in two government offices, he 
quarrelled with his rulers and his religion ; passed 
over the frontier into Turkey in 1830, and became 
a Mohammedan. The reasons for these changes 
do not appear to be well known. He became 
clerk to a Turkish trader at Widdin ; and under 
the Oriental name of Omar, he next became 
tutor in a wealthy family his knowledge of the 
Servian, Italian, and German languages being of 



great service to him. When his patron removed 
to Constantinople, Omar gradually learned the 
Turkish language, and by degrees became ac- 
quainted with military men. He obtained a 
situation in one of the military schools established 
by the late Sultan Mahmoud ; and in this situation 
he attracted the attention of Khosrou Pacha, the 
sultan's right-hand man in the military reforms 
then in progress. The old pacha admitted him into 
the army, made him his aid-de-camp, and got him 
the appointment of writing-master to the future 
sultan, Abdul-Medjid, then a boy. Omar soon 
afterwards married Khosrou's ward a daughter 
of one of the last of the Janissaries. He threw 
himself energetically into the army reforms 
planned by the sultan, first as chief of battalion, 
and then as aid-de-camp and interpreter to General 
Chzanowski, who instructed the Turkish troops in 
European tactics at Constantinople. Ever active, 
he was next employed in superintending a topo- 
graphical survey in Bulgaria and Wallachia an 
apprenticeship which proved to be of immense 
service to him when he had to manage a Danubian 
campaign in later years. He was a lieutenant- 
colonel when Abdul-Medjid came to the throne 
in 1839 ; but he was rapidly promoted to the offices 
of colonel and major-general. Up to this time he 
had seen no service in the field ; but between 1840 
and 1847, he was employed in quelling insurrec- 
tions in Syria, Albania, and Bosnia insurrections 
from which Turkey is seldom free more than a 
few months at a time. His services in this way 
brought him the honours of lieutenant-general and 
pacha. In 1848, he had a delicate mission, partly 
military and partly diplomatic, in the Princi- 
palities ; and his imperial master signified his 
approval of his services, by conferring on him the 
dignity of mushir. In 1851, when the Moslem 
inhabitants of Bosnia refused to bend to the 
reforming tendencies of the sultan, Omar now 
Omar Pacha was sent against them ; and both in 
Bosnia and Montenegro he displayed great mili- 
tary abilities. When the troubles broke out with 
Russia in 1853, Omar was appointed generalissimo 
of the Turkish army ; and worthy did he after- 
wards prove himself of the choice. There is a 
remarkable mixture of the Oriental and the culti- 
vated European in Omar. The author of the 
Frontier Lands of the Christian and the Turk thus 
speaks of Omar and his family, whom he met 
during the Bosnian campaign of 1851 : ' I stayed 
the whole day at the camp with his officers, who 
shewed me every possible attention in their tents. 
When the retreat was beat, the whole troops turned 
out, and gave three cheers of, " Padishah chok 
yasha!" and I then returned to town. On my 
way, I met Omar Pacha in a small open carriage, 
drawn by four very handsome Hungarian horses, 
with his little daughter Emine on his knee, and a 
brilliant staff' following him on horseback. His 
wife and her mother occupied a chariot-and-four ; 
and a caleche came next, with the daughter's 
French governess, the wife's German lady's-maid, 



TURKISH PREPARATIONS FOR WAR : 1853. 



29 



and two female slaves ; and the cortege was 
closed by armed retainers of the pacha on horse- 
back, and a half squadron of lancers. They 
were taking their usual evening exercise " on 
the slopes." Emine is a pretty child of nine 
years old, already betrothed to the son of a 
distinguished Turkish statesman. Omar Pacha's 



wife is young, fair-haired, and good-looking, as 
far as I could judge through the semi-transparent 
yashmak.' 

At the end of October 1853, then, a Russian 
army under Prince Gortchakoft", and a Turkish 
army under Omar Pacha, met face to face on the 
opposite banks of the Danube. 




CHAPTER II. 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE IN 1853-4. 




HE campaign on the Danube 
In 1853-4 will ever remain an 
honourable memento for the Turks. 
Theirs were the efforts ; theirs the 
* strategy ; theirs the danger ; theirs 
the success ; and theirs also should be 
the praise. The English and French 
the one powerful by sea, and the other 
land were dancing attendance on the 
diplomatists, striving to stem the torrent of 
Russian aggression by paper missives. How 
this was manifested, and by what steps English and 
French troops were drawn upon Turkish soil, will 
be explained in the next chapter. The present 
is of right devoted to the Turks, who fought well 
before any allies came to their aid. 

Omar Pacha, as has already been stated, was 
commissioned by his sultan to manage the important 
strategetical operations necessary in a contest with so 
formidable an opponent as Russia. The formation 
of a plan partly preceded, partly followed, the actual 
termination of peace. The formal declaration of war 
by Turkey on the 5th of October, was a document 
of considerable length ; for it entered into various 
particulars and reasonings, intended to justify the 
course which the Porte felt compelled to pursue. 
The Russian declaration in reply to it, given in the 
Gazette de St Petersburg, was more brief, and was 
couched as follows : ' By the grace of God, we, 
Nicholas I., Emperor and Autocrat of all the 
Russians, <tc., make known as follows : By our 
manifesto of the ^ of June, in the present year, 
we made known to our faithful and dearly beloved 
subjects the motives which had placed us under 
the obligation of demanding from the Ottoman 
Porte inviolable guarantees in favour of the sacred 
right of the orthodox church. We also announced 
to them, that all our efforts to recall the Porte, by 
means of amicable persuasion, to sentiments of 
equity, and to the faithful observance of treaties, 
had remained unfruitful, and that we had conse- 
quently deemed it indispensable to cause our troops 
to advance into the Danubian Principalities ; but 
in taking this step, we still entertained the hope 
that the Porte would acknowledge its wrong-doings, 
and would decide on acceding to our just demands. 
Our expectation has been frustrated. Even the 
chief powers of Europe have sought in vain, by 



their exhortations, to shake the blind obstinacy of 
the Ottoman government. It is by a declaration 
of war, by a proclamation filled with lying accu- 
sations against Russia, that it has responded to the 
pacific efforts of Europe, as well as to our spirit of 
long-suffering. At last, enrolling in the ranks of 
its army revolutionary exiles from all countries, 
the Porte has just commenced hostilities on the 
Danube. Russia is challenged to the combat ; and 
she has no other course left her than, putting her 
trust in God, to have recourse to force of arms, and 
so compel the Ottoman government to respect 
treaties, and to obtain reparation for the insults 
with which it has responded to our most moderate 
demands, and to our most legitimate solicitude 
for the defence of the orthodox faith in the East, 
professed also by the people of Russia. We are 
firmly convinced that our faithful subjects will 
join their prayers to those which we address to 
the Almighty, beseeching Him to bless with His 
hand our arms in this just and holy cause, which 
has always found ardent defenders in our ancestors. 
Done at Czarskoe-Selo, the 20th day of October 
(1st of November), in the year of grace 1853, and 
the twenty-eighth of our reign. NICHOLAS.' 

Russia thus stated that to be white which Turkey 
had designated black, and vice versa; but such is 
almost necessarily the case in declarations and 
counter-declarations of war. Czarskoe-Selo, it may 
here be mentioned, is the name of one of the czar's 
residences, a few miles south of St Petersburg. 

In tracing the events of the campaign which 
followed these two declarations, it may be well to 
describe, first, the materials with which Omar 
Pacha had to work, and the field whereon his 
operations had to be conducted. 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OF OMAR PACHA. 

The Turkish army, it will be remembered, is 
composed of five ordaa the Nizam, or regiments 
of the line ; the Redif, or reserve ; the Auxiliaries, 
furnished by the nearly independent tributary 
pachas ; the Irregulars, from any and every source ; 
and the Constabulary. 

The amount of the Turkish forces at the time 
when Omar Pacha took the field was estimated as 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OF OMAR PACHA : 1853. 



31 



follows : There were about 120,000 men in 
Bulgaria, between the Balkan and the Danube ; 
15,000 in Bosnia and the north-western provinces 
of the empire ; 6000 on the Servian frontier ; 
50,000 in Roumelia, around Adrianople ; and from 
80,000 to 100,000 in Asia making a total of about 
a quarter of a million under arms. There was 
a busy military spirit at work at the time ; for 
arrangements were being made for embodying 




Turkish Soldiers. 

50,000 of the redif, to be stationed around Con- 
stantinople and one or two other chosen points. 
All was enthusiasm : the arsenals produced in one 
week the cannon, muskets, and ammunition for 
the 50,000 redif; Constantinople supplied in one 
day all the horses for the redif cavalry; and the 
men themselves came forward with the utmost 
promptness to fight for Islam and the sultan. In 
addition to this, patriotic gifts poured in from 
all quarters jewels, money, horses, houses, lands. 
Such, indeed, seems also to have been the case in 
Russia, in support of the antagonistic cause. 

Since the hatti-sherif of Gulhane, which intro- 
duced many army reforms in 1839, and especially 
since the decree of 1843, which remodelled the 
army on the French system, the Turkish regular 
infantry have worn a neat and simple uniform, 
widely different from the ample flowing garments 
of the poetical Turk the Turk of our books and 
pictures and dramas. The 'dress consists of blue 
trousers; a single-breasted round jacket of coarse 
cloth ; a red front to the collar, and red edges to 
the cuffs ; and white cross-belts. There are two or 
three drawbacks in respect to this dress. In the 



first place, the shoes are of a very slipshod charac- 
ter an imperfect hybrid between the European 
and the Asiatic. In the second place, trouser-straps 
are worn always embarrassing to a soldier, and 
particularly inconvenient to men whose religion 
requires that they should take off their shoes on 
entering a mosque. In the third place, the fez 
the red brimless hat or cap must assuredly be 
very unsuitable for a sunny climate. This fez is 
heartily abused by Europeans. M. Golovin says : 
' The turban gives more expression to the eyes. 
Our hats are ridiculous ; but the fez worn by the 
Turkish army is still worse neither protecting the 
eyes from the sun, nor the head from the enemy's 
sword.' Nor is Captain Spencer in any degree 
better disposed towards it : ' Among all the various 
coverings for the head, it is at once the most 
inconvenient and the least graceful ; as it generally 
rests on the ears, and has the effect of pressing 
them down till they become a deformity. As a 
protection against the heat, cold, or rain, it is of 
no use whatever : in summer, the face is broiled ; 
and when it rains, unless you are provided with 
a capote, it serves admirably to conduct a stream 
of water down the neck of the wearer.' 

English officers have remarked, that the Turkish 
soldiers appear stiff and uncomfortable in their 
new dress when well looked after, slovenly when 
not. The change has perhaps been too sudden 
from Oriental to European costume. The regular 
cavalry and artillery corps are attired somewhat 
on the same principle as the infantry. The redif, 
when organised as a reserve corps to each ordu of 
the nizam, as also the constabulary, are similarly 
Europeanised. The Bashi-Bazouks, and other 
auxiliaries and irregulars, exhibit far different 
characteristics. 

A picture of the Bashi-Bazouk has been painted 
in words, strongly coloured, though not very nat- 
tering : ' He is a dark-brown, wild-looking fellow, 
in golden clothes a modern captain of a Free 
Company. His arms are a wonder of expensive 
uselessness. The settings of his pistols are perhaps 
solid silver, or silver-gilt, inlaid with precious 
stones, but their barrels were probably made by 
some clumsy Greek armourer during the War of 
Independence ; their locks are on the old flint-and- 
steel principle, and bad of their kind ; yet the 
treacherous flint is, of course, fixed in a silver 
holder, and the worthless lock has very likely 
a thumping turquoise stuck rudely on it.' So 
much for his arms ; now for his dress : ' The fellow 
is a barbarian, and looks like it. He is tawdry, 
loose, and dirty beyond belief. He is fierce, selfish, 
and greedy, to an equal degree. He is clumsy and 
awkward. His gorgeous clothes seem to be thrown 
on rather than put on, and his apparel presents 
the same odd contrasts as his mind. He comes 
from some far-away country from the mountains 
of Karamania or Albania, from Syria or where 
not so that he does not comply with the modern 
fashion of the Turks at Constantinople, and cover 
his head merely with a red cap ; but he twines an 



32 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



immense shawl in picturesque folds round and 
round it, till he looks, when sitting down, like a 

gigantic mushroom An immense sash of thick 

silk is wound many times round his loins, and 
a^ain above it is girded a broad thick red leathern 
belt, with pockets and receptacles for arms. This 
makes a capital support for a man who sometimes 
passes twenty hours on horseback at a time, and 



who never saw a chair with a back to it. His 
pistols and silver-sheathed sword as splendid 
and untrustworthy as the pistols stick out so far 
both before and behind, that he could hardly wear 
a long coat, or button even a short one. His waist- 
coat, therefore, is one dirty blaze of bad embroidery 
in front, and he has also embroidered sleeves to it ; 
while his jacket is made somewhat on the principle 




Bashi-Bazouks. 



of our hussar's save that it covers both shoulders 
that is to say, the large open fantastic sleeves 
hang down behind, like a fanciful pair of golden 
wings. His breeches are also embroidered, and 
they appear at first sight too short, for they fasten 
far above the knee, and leave the hinges of the 
leg as free as a Highlander's, and probably for the 
same reason. From the commencement of the 
calf of the leg down to the ankle, the limb is 
bandaged as tightly as strength can bandage it ; 
it is bandaged till the leg becomes as hard, as 
shapeless, and almost as thin as a broomstick. 
Over the bandages he wears leggings of the same 
eternal gold tinsel, confined by long, gay, flaunting 
garters of scarlet silk. His shoes are curiously old 
and frail ; he kicks them off, therefore, at every 
opportunity, and curls his legs under him.' If 
the personal characteristics of the Bashi-Ba/ouk 
be correctly portrayed, he must be a doubtful 
auxiliary in any army. A general ill supplied 
with a commissariat might, it is true, value one 
of whom it is said that he ' is abstemious almost 



to contempt of daily food : a few grapes or olives, 
according to the season, a lump of coarse black 
bread, a few onions, and a little unsweetened 
coffee, is all he cares for : ' but, on the other hand, 
' he has none of the virtues or vices of a soldier. 
He avoids fighting whenever it is possible, and 
will think it an extremely proper thing to decani]) 
on the approach of danger. His idea of the duties 
I of the military profession is firing felon shots with 
a long rusty gun, from a rock on the sea-coast, or 
a tree by the way-side. His glory is to surprise 
and butcher the defenceless, as they wind through 
some lonely mountain-gorge.'* 

If all the Turkish Irregulars answered to this 
character, they would be irregular indeed ; but 
some are of a better stamp. The Arnauts, for 
instance, the Albanian Mussulmans, seem to be 
a fine set of fellows. Scorning the European 
costume, they are yet not so reckless as the 
volunteers who come in from Asia Minor. The 

* Pictures from the Battle-Field, p. 114. 



FOKCES AND STRATEGY OF OMAR PACHA .1853. 



33 



Arnaut, with his jacket of fine red cloth or silk, 
his braided and buttoned breast, his white many- 
folded fustinella, his red cap placed jauntily on 
his head, his red gaiters, his pointed red shoes, his 
silken sash, his pistols, his long gun, his crooked 
sabre is a picturesque-looking personage, having 
about him much of that dash and spirit so observ- 
able in mountaineers. Captain Spencer, in 1850, 
while crossing the rugged mountains from Bosnia 
to Albania, came upon a troop of Arnauts, who 
were watching a body of Montenegrins on the 
heights above ; and he speaks of their striking 
appearance, their picturesque dresses, their sepa- 
ration into clans, each commanded by its own 
chieftain, their carc-for-naught bivouac round their 
fires in the night, and their war-songs, with which 
they made the mountains echo. Some of the 
Arnauts are always in the Turkish armies. 

But of all the Irregulars of the Turkish army, 
nothing perhaps could be more remarkable than 
the Kurdish cavalcade which entered Constantinople 
in April 1854. It was headed by a woman, Kara 
Fatima Ilanoun 'Dark Fatima.' She came from 
Marash, a town in Kurdistan, in Asia Minor, and 
was the chief of a Kurdish tribe. Slight as is the 
allegiance of those semi-barbarous rovers to the 
sultan, the fiery zeal of the Moslem had been 
roused by the accounts from Europe ; and Fatima 
came to offer the services of 300 Kurdish horsemen 
to the sultan. Beautiful and Oriental as Fatima 
may sound to our ears, the real Fatima was 
anything but beautiful as she presented herself 
at Constantinople : she was a little, shrivelled, 
elderly woman, dark and ugly. She wore a A-ery 
dirty pelisse, with broad sleeves ; dirty white 
trousers ; dirty yellow boots ; and a white linen 
wrapper covering all the head and neck except 
the face. She had long pistols and a yataghan 
in her girdle, and a lance in her hand. She 
rode, in cavalier fashion, a lean and ungroomed 
charger, having a long flowing mane arid tail. 
By her side rode her brother, wearing an 
immense fez over his rolled turban, and covered 
by a ragged cloak ; and near her was a kind of 
fool or jester, apparently a privileged satellite of 
her court. In her train were numerous mules 
bearing bags of money. The worthies whom this 
modern Amazon came to place at the disposal of 
her suzerain were worthy of their mistress. Some 
had pistols and yataghans ; two or three had rifles, 
which had found their way from Birmingham to 
Asia Minor ; others had scimitars ; one had 
nothing more than a wooden club or mace ; some 
matchlocks, others bows and arrows ; while all 
alike had the appearance of fellows whose con- 
sciences would not greatly trouble them in the 
event of a sack or a pillage. 

Although there were specimens of all these 
motley components of a military force in the 
various corps with which Omar Pacha fought the 
Danubian campaign, yet the regular troops, the 
nizam, were his chief supporters ; and to them 
must be given the chief praise for the courage 



and steadiness with which the operations were 
conducted. 

Such were the materials with which the Turkish 
generalissimo had to work ; and now for the 
theatre whereon his operations were to be 
performed. 

Whenever Russia and Turkey go to war, the 
Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia become 
the chief scene of operations, because they are on 
the highway from Russia to Constantinople. The 
contests in Asia, east and south-east of the Black 
Sea, are secondary in importance. It is an ' aggres- 
sion ' for Russia to occupy these two Principalities 
with her armies ; but the great feature in military 
conquest, is to cross the Danube from Wallachia 
into Bulgaria ; thence cross the Balkan into the 
southern provinces of Turkey ; and then dictate 
the terms of peace under the walls of Adrianople 
or Constantinople. It is for this reason that a 
Danubian campaign has such significance. 

Almost throughout the Avhole distance, from the 
Austrian frontier to the Black Sea, the Danube 
separates Bulgaria from Wallachia. These two 
are, practically, the Danubian Provinces, which 
have been the theatre of so many struggles between 
the Russians and the Turks. All writers agree 
that the provinces are fertile ; but there is by no 
means an agreement in opinion concerning the 
characteristics of the inhabitants. Bulgaria is 
finely situated, bordering the Danube for nearly 
400 miles, and having a sea-coast on the Black Sea 
of 200 miles, from the southern mouth of the 
Danube to the Balkan. The Balkan range sends 
down towards the Danube numerous offshoots 
parallel ridges which diminish in height as they 
approach the river ; and between these ridges are 
beautiful valleys, watered by streams which flow 
into the Danube, and enriched by verdure and 
corn and fruit. These lateral valleys have marked 
characteristics in their vegetation woods on the 
uplands and mountain-sides ; orchards, vineyards, 
and mulberry-groves on the middle slopes ; corn- 
fields near the alluvial basin of the Danube ; 
while flowers spangle the whole more or less. 
Cattle, buffaloes, sheep, 'and horses, constitute the 
livestock of the graziers. Wool, hides, corn, wine, 
silk, wax, honey, timber, tallow all are yielded ; 
iron-mines are worked to a small extent ; and iron 
and leather arc manufactured. 

In characterising the inhabitants, however, 
authorities differ. The author of the Progress of 
Russia in the East, says that ' the peasant popula- 
tion, industrious, cleanly, and prosperous, is better 
dressed, better housed, and in easier circumstances 
than the agricultural population of most of the 
other countries in Europe.' The Earl of Carlisle, 
while voyaging down the Danube from Orsova 
to Widdin, finds occasion to comment on the 
Wallachians who happened to meet his view ; but 
his observations seem to have been directed to 
the river-side people generally, whether of the 
Hungarian Banat, Wallachia, or Bulgaria : ' Many 
were standing and lying about in their loose tunics, 



34 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



red sashes, high woollen caps, and most unwashed 
sheep-skins a common vesture, it seemed to me, 
of all the Danubian races models of picturesque 
filthincss. I do not know what is most to be wished 
for these populations. I am inclined to believe 
that they have scarcely advanced a single step 
since the conquests of Trajan ; and one gets to feel 
that almost any revolution which could rouse their 
torpor and stimulate their energies which would 
hold out a motive to exertion and secure a 
return to industry with whatever ingredients of 
confusion and strife it might be accompanied, must 
bring superior advantages in the end. As far as 
I can make out, there seems to be general distaste 
for the Russians. The hopes of human progress do 
not lie in that quarter.'* Captain Spencer, too, 
gives a doubtful character to that portion of the 
Danubian population living in Bulgaria : ' The 
Bulgarians have neither the bold determination 
of their neighbours the Servians, nor the spirit 
of enterprise, combination, and fiery valour of the 
Greeks ; they more resemble the moujik (serf) of 
Russia a machine to be guided at the will of a 
clever engineer.' The Osmanlis, the real Moham- 
medan Turks, are a mere handful in comparison 
with the Christians in all the parts of Bulgaria 
near the Danube and the Black Sea ; and yet, 
from habits of long submission, the Christians 
cringe in rather a mean spirit to a Turk. Even to 
this day, says Captain Spencer, ' a Bulgarian, when 
he enters the hall of audience of a pacha, is seen 
crawling on his knees, and bending his neck in 
abject submission to the man in power. While 
travelling, he dismounts from his horse till the 
great man passes ; and in all the small towns and 
villages, the whole population bend like a reed at 
the nod of the meanest Turk.' t 

In such estimates as the above, whether favour- 
able or unfavourable, allowance must be made for 
the circumstances, often merely temporary or local, 
under which a traveller sees a district or a nation. 
Generally speaking, all sweeping judgments on 
such matters are found to be wrong. 

In respect to Wallachia and Moldavia, the 
industry of the inhabitants is sadly interfered 
with by the contests between Russia and Turkey. 
No fewer than eight different times has Russia 
' occupied' these provinces bringing manymiseries 
in her train after each occupation ; for it seems 
unquestionably true, that the spoliatipn on these 
occasions is great ; the Russian troops seizing on 
the crops and herds of the peasantry, and leaving 
as an unsolved problem the question of payment. 
The Earl of Carlisle, while speaking of Galatz, 
which he characterises as indescribably rude and 
topsy-turvy, says that during the ' occupation, the 
Russian armies never fail to introduce the plague, 
or at least some bad fever which passes under that 
name.' During the last eighty or ninety years, 
more than thirty have been years of Russian 
' occupation ' of these provinces ; and not less than 

* Diary in Turkish and Greek TTaters, p. 27. 
+ Travels in European Turkey, p. 387. 



twenty campaigns between Russ and Turk have 
taken place. Yet, in spite of these disturbing influ- 
ences, the Moldo-Wallachian plains have advanced 
in cultivation. The two provinces together occupy 
an area of about 50,000 square miles, and contain 
2,000,000 of inhabitants. From early days they 
have produced an amount of food more than 
adequate to the wants of the inhabitants; they 
were regarded as the granary of Trajan's troops, 
as they have since been of those of Russia. In the 
twenty years preceding the troubled year 1853, the 
Principalities progressed greatly in wealth. It was 
in 1834 that an English ship first took in a cargo of 
corn at Galatz, a short distance up the Danube on 
the northern shore ; and the corn-trade has since 
become one of considerable magnitude the Prin- 
cipalities taking English manufactured goods in 
exchange for the corn which she purchased. 
From 200 to 300 ships were engaged in this 
trade ; and England frequently took 500,000 
quarters of corn from the Danube in a year. The 
total export of corn amounted in the years 
1850-1-2 to as much as 5,000,000 quarters annually. 
This great increase of Danubian trade doubtless 
whetted the appetite of the Russians for acquisi- 
tions in such a quarter. Mournful is it, indeed, to 
see that peaceful industry in such a region should 
so frequently be disturbed by the horrors of war, 
or rather should be the indirect cause of involving 
it in that calamity. 

The system of strategy proper to be adopted by 
the Russians in a campaign on the Danube, and 
the proper defensive system for the Turks, are 
subjects which have been largely discussed by 
military men Austrian, Prussian, French, and 
English, as well as those more immediately con- 
cerned. The banks of the Danube have been a 
battle-field between the two nations for a century 
and a half past. In 1711, Peter the Great made an 
irruption into the Principalities ; but the grand 
vizier, aided by officers from Charles XII., marched 
along the right bank of the Danube through 
the Dobrudscha, crossed at Isakcha, penetrated 
between the Pruth and the Dniester to Choczim, 
interrupted the czar's line of communication, 
recrossed the Pruth, attacked the Russians in 
the rear, and completely defeated them. In 
1770, the Turks, instead of following this system 
of tactics on the Pruth, opposed a Russian army by 
crossing the Danube from Bucharest to Giurgevo ; 
the Russians met and attacked the Turks at 
Giurgevo and Bucharest, and defeated them. In 
I77l,the Turks,instead of lookingto the Dobrudscha, 
crossed the Danube at Widdin and at Bucharest ; 
but were driven back, and the Russians were 
enabled to advance so far into Bulgaria as to 
blockade Silistria, Shumla, and Varna. In the 
Avars from 1788 to 1792, the Turks, endeavouring 
to occupy a position in central Wallachia, met 
Avith repeated defeats in their direct attacks on the 
Russians. In 1806-12, the Turks met with success 
so long as they acted through the Dobrudscha upon 
the Pruth and the lower Danube ; but when the 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OF OMAR PACHA : 1853. 



35 



Russians enticed them to a contest in the plains of 
"Wallachia, opposite Rustchuk, the result was very 
disastrous to the Turks. In 1828-9, the Russians 
obtained command of the Dobrudscha, and success- 
fully carried on their operations thence towards 
the Balkan. 

The experience furnished by the above cam- 
paigns has led many military men to the opinion 
that whenever Russia attacks the Principalities, 
Turkey should look well to that peculiar marshy 
part of Bulgaria called the Dobrudscha, watered on 
two sides by the Danube, and on a third by the 
Black Sea. When a Russian army has crossed the 
Pruth into Moldavia, and thence crossed the 
Sereth into Wallachia, it finds itself within a 
triangle, of which the two long sides are formed 
by the Carpathians and the Danube, and the short 
side by the Sereth the dividing river between 
Moldavia and Wallachia. Thus placed, if attacked 
by a Turkish army in the rear, it would be in great 
peril; and such a rear attack, it is contended, 
is always practicable, if the Turks can manage 
to cross the Danube from the Dobrudscha, at 
Isakcha or Tultcha, into Bessarabia ; because the 
Turks, in that case, would cut off the communica- 
tions between the Russian army and the heart of 
Russia. 

Military writers often discuss the position of 
Bulgaria as if it were one huge fortress ; and 
indeed the strategy of the antagonist generals is 
best understood by so regarding it. The Balkan 
is the main line of defence for central Turkey the 
wall, the rampart which must be crossed before 
the fertile plains of Thrace, with Adrianople and 
Constantinople, can be reached. The Danube, in 
a strategetical sense, may be said to form an 
immense wet ditch, running parallel with this 
rampart, and from 50 to 100 miles distant in front 
of it. This ditch, perhaps 400 miles long, is 
strengthened by powerful outworks, at four widely 
separated parts of its length Widdin, Rustchuk, 
Silistria, and Hirsova, all on the Bulgarian side, 
overlooking the northern or Wallachian shore. 
The plain of Bulgaria forms, in military language, 
a glacis or gentle slope from the Balkan to the 
Danube, from the rampart to the ditch. The 
rugged country between Servia and Bulgaria forms 
a projecting bastion at one end of the line, while 
the Dobrudscha forms another at the other end. 
Between the Balkan and the Danube are the two 
powerful fortresses of Shumla and Varna the 
one commanding all the roads from Rustchuk 
and Silistria towards Constantinople, and the 
other commanding the sea-margin road from the 
Dobrudscha and the lower Danube. 

Taking these few topographical elements as a 
basis, a non-military reader may perhaps be able 
to comprehend a little concerning the strategy of a 
campaign in these regions, by 'regarding Wallachia 
as a wedge and Bulgaria as a fortress. North 
of the Danube, the Russians have to pay careful 
attention to the base of their wedge, on the Sereth 
and the Pruth, as well as to the two sides formed 



by the Danube and the Carpathians the Hungarian 
frontier at Orsova being the point of the wedge. 
South of the Danube, the Turks have to be on the 
alert concerning the state of their great outworks 
at Widdin, Rustchuk, Silistria, and Hirsova ; of 
their projecting bastions at the Dobrudscha and the 
Servian frontier; and of their intrenched camps 
at Shumla and Varna. Shumla, it is agreed on aU 
hands, is a most important point in the defensive 
system of Turkey not only in respect to its position 
between the Danube and Constantinople, but in 
respect also to its characteristics as a fortified town, 
or rather a fortified camp. Its fortifications are so 
vast, that they require fully 50,000 men effectually 
to defend them; and some military writers have 
urged, that this shews an error of judgment on the 
part of the Prussian engineers who constructed the 
works, since it is not likely that Turkey can at any 
time spare 50,000 men to defend one single fortress. 
But, on the other hand, it has been pointed out 
that Shumla is like a centre whence radii spring 
to all the fortified posts of Bulgaria, whether 
on the Danube or on the Black Sea, and has thus 
a peculiar commanding influence. Moreover, the 
hills which almost encircle Shumla, and which are 
very steep, are clothed over their whole surface 
with impenetrable brushwood three or four feet 
high old, stiff, close, entangled, and most difficult 
to traverse, except in single file at particular spots. 
The Turkish fortifications defend these heights; 
but even if an enemy could approach, the forest 
brushwood would interpose a formidable obstacle 
to any near attack upon the town. 

As a means of rendering intelligible to civilians 
the importance of large towns such as Widdin, 
Silistria, Varna, or Shumla, to the operations 
of an army, M. Schimmelpfennig has made the 
following useful observations : ' The conqueror 
finds in them all that his troops require, to recover 
from their hardships, and to obtain new supplies. 
For the conquered party they become, when 
fortified, strong positions, furnishing the means of 
collecting, reorganising, re-equipping, and strength- 
ening their forces, and thus enabling them to 
recommence their operations in the open field. 
If we wish to make a correct calculation of the 
operations of an army, we should first form a 
proper estimate of the situation of the large towns 
on the seat of war, and of the equally important 
depots, ports, river-passages, and other defiles which 
cannot be avoided. When an army founds or bases 
its operations upon such points that is to say, 
obtains from them its reinforcements and supplies, 
or secures them as places of retreat they are called 
technically, in military language, its subjects ; but 
as soon as the operations are directed towards 
them, they are called its objects. Generally, the 
"subjects" of one army arc the "objects" of the 
other. Lines of road leading from the subjects to 
the objects, or to the enemy's army, are called lines 
of operation ; but those lines of road which connect 
an army with its subjects are called lines of commu- 
nication or of retreat. When several subjects are so 



36 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



situated as to offer different lines of operation 
towards the same objects, they furnish us with 
what is called a base of operations. The preser- 
vation of our own army makes it necessary that 
our operations should be so conducted as, in case 
of a lost battle, to leave the communication with 
at least one of the "subjects" open; whilst, as 
far as the destruction of the enemy's army is our 
aim, we should direct the operations in such a 
manner as to cut oft" the beaten enemy from his 
subjects to force him out of his line of retreat, 
and to allow him no opportunity of reuniting and 
strengthening his forces.'* 

Unfortunate is it for Turkey, that two of the 
main elements of civilisation, roads and bridges, 
are sadly wanting. The deficiency impedes her 
military operations, as well as her peaceful com- 
mercial enterprises. As Sir James Porter described 
them a century ago, so are the Turkish roads to 
the present day, with a few exceptions on the 
main arteries of communication. It w r as his 
remark, that no one in this country thinks of a 
permanent improvement in the roads. The pachas 
seem to care little on the matter in their respective 
pachaliks. Occasionally, a few swampy pits are 
filled up with stones, or steep declivities are scraped 
down to an easier slope ; but, for the most part, the 
roads are nothing but the paths which the beasts of 
burden have trodden out. The materials for road- 
making are abundant ; and there are few countries 
in which a slight outlay would produce more im- 
portant results in respect to intercommunication. 

It must in fairness be admitted, however, in 
so far as bridges are concerned, that Turkish 
indolence is not the only cause of the absence of 
bridges across the Danube an element which 
would greatly affect any Danubian campaign. The 
Danube is a broad river, and is only crossed by 
ferry-boats, except in the upper or Bavarian and 
Austrian part of its course. Armies usually cross 
it by means of temporary bridges of boats ; but 
sometimes bodies of troops are ferried across in 
large flat-bottomed boats. All operations on the 
Danube are affected by this circumstance that 
the state of the river varies greatly at different 
seasons. The freshets, produced by the melting of 
the snow in spring, frequently overflow the whole 
plain, and do not subside until the end of May, or 
sometimes not even before the beginning of July. 
Sometimes, in the middle of summer, torrents 
descending from the Carpathians, in Transylvania, 
will occasion so rapid a rising of the river, that 
such constructions as bridges of boats arc liable to 
be swept away. The throwing of a military-bridge 
across a river for the transport of troops and 
artillery, is an important operation in every Avar ; 
and it is one of the duties of the engineer-officers 
to ascertain the spots at which these means of 
communication can be most conveniently and 
profitably made. The points which have been 
named as most suitable for the purpose of crossing 

* The War between Turkey and Russia : a Military Sketch, r>. 44. 



the Danube from Wallachia into Bulgaria are at 
Orsova; at the point of confluence of the Timok 
with the Danube ; at two points near Widdin ; at 
Agrulgrad; at Zibru Palenka; at the mouth of 
the river Schyl ; at the mouth of the Aluta ; at 
Xikopolis; at Rustchuk; at or near Giurgevo; at 
Turtukai; at and near Silistria; below Hirsova; 
at Ibraila ; below Galatz ; at Isakcha ; at Ismail ; 
and at Kilia, close to the spot where the northern 
arm of the Danube enters the Black Sea. 

All these various circumstances personal, topo- 
graphical, hydrographical, engineering affect the 
system of strategy by which a general proposes to 
conduct a campaign. Omar Pacha, conversant 
with the whole district long before, formed a plan 
based on the amount of information which he 
possessed, and on the strength of the forces placed 
at his disposal. 



BATTLES OF KALAFAT, OLTEMTZA, 
C I T A L E, A >' D GIURGEVO. 

The events of the Danubian campaign, in the 
period between October 1853 and July 1854, 
separate themselves naturally and conveniently 
into two groups, distinguished by particular 
characteristics. In the one, the Turks crossed the 
Danube from Bulgaria into Wallachia, and 
attacked the Russians ; in the other, the Russians 
crossed the Danube from Wallachia and Moldavia 
into Bulgaria, and attacked the Turks. In the one, 
the actions have become familiar by the names 
of Kalafat (Kalefat), Citale (Citate), Oltenit/a, 
and Giurgevo ; in the other, the operations are 
connected with Silistria, and with the Dobrudscha 
towns of Rassova, Kustendji, Hirsova, Matchin, 
Isakcha, and Tultcha. 

The Turks crossed the Danube at four widely 
separated points, in each case entering Wallachia 
from Bulgaria. One of these transits was from 
Widdin to Kalafat ; another from Rustchuk to 
Giurgevo ; a third from Turtukai to Oltenitza ; 
and a fourth from Silistria to Kalarasch ; and the 
period during which these movements were made, 
was from 28th October to 4th November. Three 
out of four of these proceedings led to important 
results ; the fourth, the crossing from Silistria to 
Kalarasch, was of non-effect ; for the Russians 
drove back the Turks, and afterwards laid siege 
to Silistria. The most western of these movements 
was from Widdin to Kalafat. Widdin is a town 
of about 30,000 inhabitants, and has for centuries 
past been a strong post in all the contests between 
the Turks and their northern neighbours. Viewed 
from a distance, the mosques and minarets tower 
rather oddly above the fortified walls. In so far 
as concerns its Ottoman rather than its Slavonic 
features, Widdin partakes of the character which 
Sir Gardner Wilkinson gives to Turkish towns 
generally. In external beauty they are, he say?, 
'superior to those of Europe. The minarets and 
domes, the cypresses and gardens interspersed with 



BATTLES OF KALAFAT, OLTENITZA, CITALE, GIURGEVO : 1853-4. 



37 



the houses, the projecting roofs, the wooden lattice- 
work, the coloured walls, and the variety of 
outlines, are most picturesque. . . . The houses 
of the rich Osmanlis frequently look as if they 
had been brought from a distance, ready made, 
and placed in juxtaposition with their strange 
neighbours ; they might, with equal propriety, 
belong to a village or to the capital of a province ; 
and they are often as distinct from each other as 
tents, from which they have evidently derived 
their form.' * Kalafat, the Wallachian town 
opposite Widdin, is a smaller place ; but, never- 
theless, it has 2000 houses, a town-hall, a custom- 
house, three churches, a barrack for cavalry, a 
quarantine station, and fortified walls. There are 
two high hills outside the town, about a mile 
asunder, which have furnished the means of sup- 
plying Kalafat with strong fortifications. In the 
campaign of 1828, these hills were occupied by the 
Russians ; but in that of 1853-4, the Turks had 
this advantage. 

It was from Widdin to Kalafat that a Turkish 
force, about 12,000 strong, crossed the Danube on 
the 28th of October, occupying both Kalafat itself 
and a small island near the Wallachian shore. The 
Russian force situated in this part, being too weak 
to resist the Turks, retired to a position at Slatina, 
a town on the Aluta. It may here be remarked, 
that "Wallachia is, for government purposes, 
divided into Lesser or Little, Great or Upper, and 
Lower, separated respectively by the rivers Aluta 
and Arjish ; and that Kalafat is in Lesser 
Wallachia, Giurgevo in Great, and Oltenitza in 
Lower. The Turks did not attempt much in the 
way of pursuit, but proceeded at once to fortify 
Kalafat and its vicinity. They raised redoubts of 
great strength and extent ; some of them on the 
two lofty hills, and completely commanding all 
approach to the Danube in that direction. The 
little island, too, was defended by strong earthen 
intrcnchments, mounted with large guns. Taken 
in connection with Widdin and its defences, the 
two towns and the interlying island formed one 
stronghold, well fortified, supplied with 250 heavy 
guns, and occupied by a large army. 

The Russians were not prepared for such a 
vigorous attack in this one spot. In the first place, 
they did not expect that Omar Pacha would have 
so promptly kept his word, to attack Gortchakoff' 
unless he withdrew from the Principalities within 
fifteen days ; and in the next place, they had 
400 miles of the Danube to look to, and could not 
spare a large force at each important place. 

While these events were occurring at Kalafat, 
stirring scenes were presented at Oltenitza (Olten- 
icza), 250 miles lower down the river. The Turkish 
forces that crossed the Danube from Turtukai to 
Oltenitza have been numbered by the Turks at 
about 12,000. A corps had 'been for some days 
concentrated near Turtukai, concealed from the 
enemy partly by bushes and partly by a fog. An 

* Dalmatia and Montenegro, p. 5G. 



island stands in the middle of the Danube, exactly 
between Turtukai and Oltenitza, and this island 
played an important part in the tactics of the 
battle. On the 2d of November, the Turks began 
to make the passage, favoured by the interposition 
of the island ; and by the morning of the 3d, 
-5000 men were on the island, 5000 had crossed 
over to the northern or Wallachian shore of the 
Danube, and 2000 were in barges ready to cross. 
During the night, the rest crossed ; and the morning 
of the 4th found the Turks ready to meet the 
Russians, who were placed in pickets along the 
shore. The picket at Oltenitza, with a reserve 
behind the town, amounted to about 5000 men ; 
but other reinforcements came up in the course of 
the day. The engagement commenced at dawn of 
day, and lasted many hours. The Russians, inferior 
to their opponents in number, fought well ; and 
the contest was severe on both sides. About noon, 
the Turks suffered a temporary check ; but when 
night closed in, they remained masters of the 
shore, while the Russians retired behind Oltenitza. 
The details of the action at Oltenitza were given 
by Omar Pacha in the following dispatch to his 
government : ' The possession of the island situated 
in front of Turtukai having been considered indis- 
pensable, I had effected the passage of troops, and 
in the course of the night of the 1st, managed to raise 
tolerably strong fortifications. On the following 
day, two battalions of infantry, three pieces of 
cannon, and 100 of the mounted police, were 
conveyed in large boats to the locality, with 
ammunition, provisions, and greatcoats. They 
had scarcely landed when, from the batteries of 
Turtukai, we opened a fire on the lazaretto, situate 
on the left bank. After the first discharge, the 
Russians quitted this position ; and the Imperial 
(Turkish) troops took possession of the building, 
which is of solid construction, with vaulted 
chambers. Without loss of time, 400 workmen, 
under the direction of staff-officers, commenced 
raising fortifications, for which purpose 2000 
gabions had been already prepared. On the 3d, 
again other troops were sent to fortify the position. 
As soon as the Imperial troops had landed on the 
left bank of the river, the Russians, quartered in 
a large village, at about an hour's distance, turned 
round and began to retreat. A body of cavalry was 
despatched to reconnoitre, and having encountered 
at Oltenitza an outpost of Cossack cavalry, they 
killed five, and rejoined our lines with a loss of 
three men. We found at Touzla, on the left bank, 
a great quantity of boats, which we sent to Turtukai. 
The number of boats at our disposal having facili- 
tated the construction of the bridge, we were 
enabled without delay to place in the fortifications 
twelve large guns which were brought from 
Shumla. On the 3d, at four P.M., three battalions of 
Russian infantry, with eight cannon, a regiment of 
cavalry, and a party of Cossacks, entered the village 
of Oltenitza. Our troops, posted within the works 
constructed on the left bank, waited them firmly. 
This same night I caused to be constructed a bridge 



38 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



at the confluence of the Arjish with the Danube, and 
flanked it with redoubts. Yesterday, 4th November, 
at six A.M., we began to perceive the movement of 
the Russian forces. As soon as their march was 
well defined, I caused to be embarked and carried 
to the lazaretto a reinforcement of one battalion. 
The evening before, I had placed on a level piece 
of ground a battery of guns calculated to face any 
attack which might be made. The Russian force 
amounted to twenty battalions, three regiments 
of cavalry one of Cossacks sixteen mounted 
batteries, and as many foot. They formed in order 
of battle, with fourteen pieces of cannon in the 
rear of twelve battalions, and the regiment of 
Cossacks in lines beyond the reach of our guns, 
and fronting the centre of our works. They 
advanced, supported by the fire of their artillery ; 
and at the same time two battalions, with two 
guns, came on threatening our left flank. Having 
commenced the assault, another stronger division 
consisting of six battalions, with four guns, and 
having in the rear three regiments of cavalry 
supporting and outstripping their left flank took 
its position, and formed in two lines, with artillery, 
horse and foot, into echelons, attacking our right 
flank. After an exchange of a few shots, the 
centre gave the assault, whereon they charged both 
our wings. The centre attacked three different 
times, and each with a fresh battalion, twice on 
the left and once on the right. A well-directed 
fire from our fortress at Turtukai soon dispersed 
their right column ; and the centre gradually fell 
back, after having suffered severely, and half its 
number hors de combat. The battery of the island, 
also, mounted with powerful guns, menzil top, and 
commanded by Khalid Pacha, did admirable 
execution on the enemy's right wing. The Russians 
advanced with coolness and resolution almost to 
the brink of the trench, and on this account their 
loss was considerable, amounting to 1000 men 
killed, and double the number wounded. The 
engagement lasted four hours from noon till four 
P. M. ; and during this interval, the wagons never 
ceased to carry off their dead ; and twenty were 
observed heavily laden even after the conflict. 
With a view of facilitating this duty, as long as 
it lasted, we abstained from molesting the enemy, 
and from firing a shot ; but found, nevertheless, 
800 dead bodies on the field. A private carriage, 
moreover, was remarked, and from the pains taken 
in the search, we conjecture it must have been 
destined to receive the body of a general officer. 
At five P.M., a total confusion ensued in the 
Russian ranks ; their lines were completely broken, 
and their retreat precipitate. An hour later, some 
few rallied in the neighbouring villages, but the 
remainder fled in disorder. Some of our men 
pushed forward in pursuit of them beyond the 
lines, but were summoned back by trumpet to 
their own quarters. Our loss amounted to 106 
men. We found on the field of battle 500 muskets, 
sacs, cartridge-boxes, equipments, <tc.' 
The Russians state that they were 9000 against 



18,000 Turks ; the Turkish account of numbers 
is widely different ; and it is difficult to decide 
between the two. The Russians were commanded 
by Generals Danuenberg and Perloff. Heavy rains 
prevented the Turks from pursuing the Russians 
from Oltenitza towards Bucharest ; and they re- 
crossed the Danube about the middle of November. 
The last few weeks of the year exhibited only a 
few minor skirmishes at these two points of the 
Danube Kalafat and Oltenitza. Both parties pro- 
bably were a little surprised at the result the Turks 
at their success, the Russians at their failure ; and 
both parties made resolute attempts to strengthen 
their forces, and to apply them at the points where 
likely to be most valuable. There are authentic 
means of knowing the actual strength of the 
Russian armies, in all parts, at the close of the 
year. Sir Hamilton Seymour's dispatch to the 
Earl of Clarendon, concerning the state of the 
Russian armies in October 1853, was followed 
by another bearing date 9th January 1854, 
noticing several changes which had been made 
in the numbers and location of the troops : ' The 
1st and 2d infantry corps are in Poland and 
Lithuania ; the reserve battalions of these corps 
are in course of being formed. Two battalions 
being raised for each regiment, twenty-four will 
be added to each corps d'anne*e. It is stated 
that no additions have been made yet to the 
artillery and cavalry of these two corps ; but here 
a slight explanation becomes necessary the horses 
have not yet been purchased, but as regards men, 
the number required have already been assembled. 
The 3d, 4th, and 5th corps have already been 
placed on the full war-footing; and the same 
statement may be made respecting their cavalry 
and artillery. The 6th corps is in course of being 
put upon a war-footing ; one division proceeds to the 
Crimea, one to the Caucasus, and the third to the 
government of Kherson. Those troops not already 
marching, will proceed shortly to their destinations. 
The half of the cavalry of this corps is ordered to 
the Crimea, the other half to the government of 
Kherson. The corps of dragoons is equally in 
course of being put upon the war-footing ; two 
regiments have already been sent off to the Caucasus ; 
and the other six are to proceed next week to the 
Principalities. The Corps de Gardes, and the 
Grenadier Corps, have likewise received orders for 
being placed upon the footing of war. The Guards 
are to be increased by a fresh battalion and 
squadron for each regiment ; the Grenadiers, by 
two battalions and one squadron for each regiment. 
I should here observe, that when upon the war- 
footing, the battalion numbers 1000 men, and the 
squadron 130 horses ; while the reserve battalions 
are COO or 700 strong, and the reserve squadrons 
have each 150 horses. As regards the army of the 
Caucasus, under the command of Prince "Woronzow, 
its numbers cannot be less than 150,000, and may 
amount to 170,000 or 180,000.'* These various 

* Parliamentary Papers on the Eastern Question. Part ii. p. 372. 



BATTLES OF KALAFAT, OLTENITZA, CITALE, GIURGEVO : 1853-4. 



39 



corps of the Russian army, thus augmented to the 
war-footing, could not have amounted to much 
less than 800,000 men. 

Attention must now be directed to the brilliant 
affair which opened the year 1854 near Kalafat 
an achievement which equally exhilarated the 
Turks and mortified the Russians. Nominally, 
it was the battle of Citale ; but it was in effect 
a series of conflicts, lasting several days. The 
Russians, during November and December, gradu- 
ally strengthened themselves in Lesser Wallachia. 
General Aurep received orders to advance upon 
Kalafat from Krajova ; and he employed urgent 
means to render passable for heavy artillery the 
roads between Slatina, Karakal, Krajova, and 
Kalafat. About the end of December, the Turks 
succeeded in forcing the Russian General Fisch- 
bach to evacuate Krajova, and to retire behind the 
Aluta. On or about the first day of the new year, 
three Russian columns advanced through Lesser 
Wallachia towards the Danube one through 
Karakal, one along the Aluta, and a corps of more 
than 20,000 men towards Kalafat. 

The presence of the Turks at Kalafat could not 
be otherwise than annoying to Prince Gortchakoff; 
he sent large reinforcements from Upper Wallachia 
to Krajova a town about sixty miles north-east of 
Kalafat with orders to drive the Turks back across 
the Danube by a resolute attack on their position 
at Kalafat.* The Russians got round on the flank 
of the Turkish intrenchments, and threw up 
redoubts at Citale, a village a little higher up 
the Danube than Kalafat. The news of the 
intended attack had reached the Turks; and 
Achmet Pacha, the general in command, deter- 
mined to anticipate it. On the 5th January, he 
sent a strong corps from Kalafat to Maglovet, 
a small village on the way to Citale, where they 
bivouacked during the night. Next morning 
they were under arms. As yet, however, no sign 
had been seen of the Russians. Not a sound was 
to be heard in the village ; not a sentinel even was 
visible ; and it was conjectured that the village 
might have been evacuated. Six companies of 
chasseurs, under the command of Tefnik Bey, 
Omar Pacha's nephew, were sent up the hill to 
commence the attack, and advanced, firing as skir- 
mishers, but without eliciting any response. They 
were on the point of entering, when a single 
cannon-shot, followed closely by a whole broad- 
side, revealed the presence of the enemy, who now 
made their appearance, and seemed disposed to 
contest the ground on the outside. Some sharp 
firing followed, but the chasseurs were pushed on, 
and close behind came the four battalions of 
infantry under Ismail Pacha, with a battery of 
field-artillery, which opened a heavy fire with 
great effect. The Russian gunnery was bad ; few 
of the balls hit, and the shells nearly all burst 

* One of the numerous examples of vivid description of battle- 
fields, afforded by the correspondents of the London newspapers 
during the -war, was the account of the action of 6th January by 
the correspondent of the Daily News, who evidently wrote as an 
eye-witness. It forms the basis of the following sketch. 



in the air, and fell harmless. Before the Turks 
had fired a dozen shots, the enemy retired into the 
village, sheltered themselves in and around the 
houses, and opened a deadly fire of musketry 
upon the advancing column. ' Ismail Pacha's 
appearance at this moment struck all who saw 
him with admiration, as it spoke volumes for his 
daring hardihood as a soldier, though it said but 
little for his prudence as a general. He rode into 
the village at the head of the troops, sword in 
hand, mounted on a white horse, his orders 
glittering on his breast, and wearing a white 
pelisse the mark for a thousand bullets at every 
step. But he seemed to bear a charmed life ; for 
though two horses were killed under him, it was 
long before he was wounded, and then only 
slightly in the arm.' 

The battle soon began to rage fearfully. As the 
troops came on, the numbers falling increased on 
both sides. A rash was made on the houses with 
fixed bayonets, and the contest was then indeed 
terrific. The Russians contested every wall and 
room with desperate courage, and were literally 
massacred en masse. No quarter was asked or given : 
the Turks, enraged by the resistance, put to death all 
who fell in their way ; nor were the Russians slow 
to follow the example. The officers were seen, in 
some instances, pulling down their caps tightly on 
their foreheads, and rushing madly on death, 
scorning to yield. In little more than an hour, 
the high road and the space round the houses 
were covered with heaps of dead, and the blood 
ran in rivulets down the hill. The conflict raged 
in this way for nearly four hours, with heavy 
loss on both sides. Towards twelve o'clock, every 
house had been carried at the point of the bayonet, 
and the enemy fell back upon the road, but found 
themselves intercepted by the Turkish cavalry, two 
regiments of which had advanced along the ravine 
on the right, and stationed themselves in the rear 
of the village. Being thus cut off, the Russians 
had no resource but to fling themselves into the 
redoubt, carrying their artillery with them. This 
they were enabled to accomplish in safety. 

Critical was the hour of noon for both armies. 
Another half-hour would, in all probability, have 
seen the destruction of the remaining Russians, if 
the attention of the combatants had not been 
drawn by events of weightier importance in 
another part of the field. News of the perilous 
position of the Russians had been conveyed to 
various villages wherein troops were quartered, 
and a formidable reinforcement appeared about 
half-past twelve. The Turkish reserve prepared to 
receive these fresh troops, who numbered 10,000 
men comprising nine battalions of infantry, a 
regiment of Uhlans, and a regiment of the Paske- 
vitch Hussars, with sixteen guns. Four battalions 
advanced in line, three in column as a second line, 
and two as a reserve ; the cavalry and artillery 
were placed on the flanks, and their march was 
directed towards the Kalafat road. The object 
was to place the Turks between two fires, and cut 



40 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



off their means of communication. With five 
Turkish battalions of reserve, Achmet Pacha pre- 
pared to receive these new foes. On the side of 
the hill below the ravine on the right Avas a sort 
of old fence, enclosing a square space of ground ; 
and the Turkish troops were deployed to the right, 
above this enclosure, three battalions in line, and 
two in reserve, the right wing behind it, and the 
left extending into the plain ; on the right flank 
was placed a battery of four 12-pounders, and on 
the left, one of six field-pieces. The cavalry at the 
village was recalled, and in conjunction with those 
of the reserve, was stationed on the left, one 
regiment a little in advance of the rest. The time 
occupied in making these arrangements was one of 
painful suspense ; and when all was ready, the 
inferiority of the Turkish force was very evident ; 
but they had no other resource than to defend 
their position as bravely as they could. 

Now arrived the moment of conflict. ' The 
advance of the Russians was an imposing sight. 
Nothing could exceed the steadiness of their march ; 
every line and column stepped in time as one man, 
and all the distances were as accurately observed 
as if they were parading at St Petersburg. As they 
began to get nearer, three or four officers rode out 
in front to reconnoitre the ground, and then hastily 
retired. Immediately afterwards, the two battalions 
of reserve changed their position, and advanced 
with two pieces of artillery towards the ravine 
on the right of the Turks.' The Russian artillery 
appears to have been badly served, whereas the 
Turkish, under Hadji Mustapha, was worked with 
skill and effect. Onward, nevertheless, came the 
dense mass of Russian infantry ; and a slight con- 
fusion having occurred among the Turks, occasioned 
by the bursting of a gun, the Russians prepared to 
charge with the bayonet. The Turkish batteries 
now opened a tremendous shower of grape-shot, 
every shot telling with fearful effect upon the close 
ranks of the column, sweeping them away one 
after the other as fast as they were filled up. The 
infantry, at the same time, becoming impatient, 
the order was given to advance, and the whole line 
came forward the right wing entering the enclo- 
sure and fired and loaded as they marched, 
shouting their national war-ciy. The Russians 
for some minutes bore up bravely ; but at last the 
head of the column began to waver. In vain the 
officers urged the men to move onwards. Broken 
by the iron-shower from the batteries, and the 
close and raking fire of the musketry, they fell 
into disorder, and turned and fled pell-mell across 
the plain, casting aside everything muskets, and 
even musical-instruments. The Turkish cavalry 
neglected, or were unable, to pursue; and the 
Russians were thereby enabled to carry off their 
artillery. Although the Russians had been thus 
defeated both in the village and the plain 
for, in effect, there were two distinct battles yet 
the Turkish general did not think it desirable to 
renew the attack on the Russian redoubt at Citale : 
he retired with all his forces to Kalafat, which he 



retained, while the Russians voluntarily abandoned 
Citale and all the villages in the neighbourhood. 
The Turkish wounded were brought into Kalafat 
during the night, and were thence transported 
across the Danube to Widdin. ' The poor fellows 
seemed to treat their misfortune very lightly, 
talking and laughing in the boats with so much 
hilarity, that, but for the blood and bandages, one 
would scarcely imagine that they were not sound 
in wind and limb. Nothing can exceed the joy 
and enthusiasm of the army. Every soldier has 
carried off a trophy of some kind or other scarfs, 
swords, muskets, &c. ; and groups may be seen 
standing in every corner at Kalafat, discussing, 
with animated gestures, the various details of the 
action, and crowing over the rout of the 
" Muscoviz.'" 

Under the supposition that the opposed generals 
were equal in tactics, and the soldiers equal in 
daring and powers of endurance, the artillery of 
the Turks must evidently have been worked more 
skilfully thar> that of the Russians; but be the 
explanation what it may, the victory was a 
remarkable one, and the Turks had just reason 
to be proud of it. The loss was serious : the Turks 
told of 338 dead and 700 wounded on their side ; 
with 1500 dead, and an unnamed number wounded, 
on the side of the Russians. In the village, the 
two forces suffered about equally ; but in the plain, 
the loss was chiefly on the side of the Russians, 
who appear to have been swept down with fearful 
rapidity by the Turkish artillery. 

The Turkish officers did not spare themselves 
in these engagements. Ismail Pacha, Mustapha 
Pacha, Osman Pacha, Abdullah Bey, Hussein Bey 
all were wounded. The two actions at Citale, 
and at the road between that village and Kalafat, 
were only parts of a series ; for it appears that, 
between the 5th and the 10th of January, the Turks 
and Russians encountered each other at Plenitza. 
Salcutza, Perischor, Karaula, Mazezoi, Banului, 
Risipitz, Rudari, Giubega, Galikea, and Pojana 
villages in Lesser Wallachia, not far from Kalafat. 
On the 8th, Omar Pacha arrived at Widdin, and 
crossed over to the battle-field on that and the two 
following days ; and orders and swords were distri- 
buted, in recognition of the valour of the conquerors. 
A correspondent of the Vienna newspaper, The 
Wanderer, visited this scene of strife about the 
middle of the month, and said that the vil' 
' are now nothing but ruins steeped in blood. The 
most miserable hut on the plain was made to serve 
as a position either for attack or defence. Most of 
the inhabitants fled before the engagement began, 
leaving their winter stores to the mercy of the 
combatants ; many, however, were taken by sur- 
prise, and unfortunately lost their lives in the 
tumult of war.' Such miseries to peaceful indus- 
trious peasantry are among the everyday horroi-s 
of Avar. 

The position and condition of the Russians in 
Lesser Wallachia, after the various encounters at 
and near Citale, required serious consideration. 



BATTLES OF KALAPAT, OLTENITZA, CITALE, GIURGEVO : 1853-4. 



41 



The Russians ceased from attacks for a time, and 
strengthened their posts. Prince Gortchakoff went 
to Krajova, and inspected all the positions held by 
his forces. Reinforcements had been constantly 
arriving, and notwithstanding the heavy losses, 
the Russian troops in this part of Wallachia 
amounted, by the 18th January, to 36,000 men. 
About the same time, the Turks crossed the 
Danube near the mouth of the Aluta, from Niko- 
polis to Islacz and Turna ; they were also posted 
in some force at Rahova, nearly opposite the 
mouth of the Schyl; and thus Gortchakoff' was 
necessitated to bestow a part of his attention and 
his strength on the nook of marshy plain included 



between the Danube, the Schyl, and the Aluta. 
At the close of the month, the Russians had formed 
a semicircle, the extent of which was about thirty- 
five English miles, around the Turkish position at 
Kalafat. As their forces had now been augmented 
to considerably more than 40,000, confident hopes 
Avere entertained that success would attend the 
next attack. Prince Gortchakoff and General 
Aurep both incurred the czar's displeasure for their 
want of success at Citale, as had been the case with 
Dannenberg at Oltenitza; and General Schilders 
suddenly received orders to leave Warsaw, and 
pass through Hungary to Lesser Wallachia, there 
to examine into all the circumstances of the recent 




OMAR PACHA. 



defeat, and to form a plan for future operations 
a formidable passage of the Danube by the Russians 
being one of the manoeuvres to which his attention 
was to be directed. One result of Gortchakoff's 
examination had been, to remove the head-quarters 
from Krajova to Boleshti, a village nearer the 
Danube ; but Schilders afterwards withdrew it as 
far as Slatina. The difficulties of the Russians 
were much increased by the horror with which 
they had inspired the Wallachians ; the exactions 
of the invaders were so terrible, the plunder so 
undisguised and unscrupulous, that the people were 
driven into revolt ; and the Russians felt the effects 
of the aid which the Wallachians often rendered 
to the Turks. In race partly Slavonic, like the 
Russians : in religion, Greek Christian, like the 
Russians yet did these Wallachians lean rather 



to the Moslem sultan than to the Christian czar 
in their hour of misery and oppression. 

About the beginning of February, then, the 
Russians were concentrated in great force in 
Lesser Wallachia, awaiting the time when they 
might make a second and more formidable attack 
upon the Turks at Kalafat ; while their opponents, 
strengthened by more troops from Widdin, waited 
unflinchingly for them. Leaving these belligerents 
for awhile, we must now attend to the operations 
going on in Upper Wallachia, after the victory at 
Oltenitza early in November. 

It has already been mentioned that, of the four 
passages of the Danube by the Turks in October 
and November, two were at Rustchuk and Tur- 
tukai. A small body of Turks crossed from 
Rustchuk to Giurgevo, between which two places 



42 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



is an island in the Danube ; and they continued 
to hold for a considerable time the position which 
they had thus seized, in spite of the efforts of the 
Russians to dislodge them. Of the passago from 
Turtukai to Oltenitza, and of the smart engage- 
ment which followed it, a description has already 
been given. Rustchuk, which continued for 
many months to be regarded by both armies as 
an important position, is a large town of 50,000 
inhabitants, with a considerable trade. It is on 
a dead level, close to the Danube ; but immediately 
to the south are a few hills, which, although of no 
great elevation, suffice to command the town. 
Rustchuk was very ill defended at the commence- 
ment of the war ; but under Said Mirza Pacha 
and Khalid Pacha, it speedily changed its character 
from a tumble-down Turkish city to a fortress 
constructed on European principles. Turtukai 
has a more commanding position than Rustchuk ; 
the river-shore at that spot rises precipitately to 
a high ridge, which completely commands the 
opposite flat shore at Oltenitza. After the battle 
at the last-named place, the Turks constructed a 
battery east of Turtukai, and a redoubt on a 
plateau behind the town. A correspondent of the 
Times, writing from Turtukai about the middle of 
January, describes the scene around him as one 
of picturesque ruggedness. ' Snow having entirely 
disappeared during the thaw, everything is green 
and bright ; and although all the regular troops 
have been withdrawn, except a battalion of 
infantry, the place is full of bustle, from the field- 
works that are going on, and from this being the 
head-quarters of the irregular troops under the 
command of Giafer Pacha, head of the Moslem 
Arnauts, and Achmet Pacha, who watches the 
Danube line from Rustchuk to Sili stria. The 
town itself, lying on the last steep slopes of the 
hill next the Danube, is small, and every house 
packed as full as it can hold of troops, in drab 
clothes and kilts of Manchester cotton, which has 
now universally superseded the native linen 
fustinella ; and as it is rather a cold costume for 
winter weather, I see a great many with the 
Russian greatcoats, furnished by Oltenitza from 
the bodies of poor fellows who will never march 
across the Pruth again. I am happy to say that 
Giafer Pacha keeps as good order among them as 
is possible; for perfect discipline is unattainable 
with a nation that has still to serve an apprentice- 
ship to ineum and tuning The 'nation' here referred 
to is not the Osmanli, but the Arnauts or rugged 
mountaineers of Albania. The writer goes on to 
say, that ' the town itself is anything but inviting, 
with six inches of black liquid mud in the streets, 
as if all the reserve stores of Day and Martin had 
been poured out on them.' 

The operations during the last two months of 
1853, and the first two of 1854, in this part of 
the Danubian region, may be characterised as an 
almost uninterrupted series of sudden attacks 
a small force dashing across the river, inflicting 
mischief on the enemy, and then recrossing. The 



Russians could make no permanent lodgment on 
the south bank, nor the Turks on the north. The 
Russians kept up a supply of forces at Giurgevo, 
Oltenitza, and Kalarasch, from Bucharest ; while 
the Turks strengthened their garrisons at Rust- 
chuk, Turtukai, and Silistria, from Shumla there 
being in this respect a curious parallelism between 
the opposing forces. At one time we read of 
Turkish reserves going from Shumla to Rasgrad, 
Turtukai, Silistria, and Sistova ; at another, of a 
series of resolute attempts to effect a landing either 
at Giurgevo or Oltenitza; but no decisive advantages 
seem to have been obtained by them. 

The Russian plans and the Russian commanders 
underwent many changes during these four or 
five months. The want of success brought some 
of the generals into disgrace ; and the presence of 
the Allied fleets interfered with any operations in 
the direction of Varna. When Osten-Sacken's 
corps entered the Principalities, two camps of 
cavalry were established near Kremanzoff and 
Charcov, intrenchments were formed near 
Bucharest, and the general operations of the 
campaign were conducted from this town as a 
central depot. About the middle of January, 
there were 18,000 Russians near Giurgevo under 
General Bimonoff, and 5000 at Kalarasch under 
General Aurep, watching the Turks at the 
opposite towns of Rustchuk and Silistria. Recol- 
lecting that it was in the depth of winter that 
these movements were made, and that the Prin- 
cipalities, like all other parts of the Turkish 
dominions, are wretchedly provided with roads, we 
shall be prepared to believe that the Russian troops 
suffered greatly on their marches. The advanced- 
guard of Osten-Sacken's corps arrived at Bucharest 
in miserable condition, having been forced to march 
during fifty days over the worst roads in pelting 
rain, and falling in fearful numbers by the way ; 
the poor fellows, too, after barely three days' rest, 
were ordered on to Kalafat a further distance 
of 200 or 300 miles. By the end of January, 
it was announced that the army of occupation 
would be augmented to 200,000 men, thus distri- 
buted 30,000 at Radovan, to keep the Turks in 
check at Kalafat ; 40,000 at Bucharest and other 
posts in Wallachia and Moldavia ; 40,000 to cross 
the Danube into the Dobrudscha; 50,000 to cross at 
Giurgevo, 20,000 to cross at Oltenitza, and 20,000 
to cross at Turnu or Turna. There can be no 
doubt that many or all of these measures were 
planned ; but the activity and frequent successes 
of the Turks greatly interfered with the prosecution 
of the Russian schemes. It is difficult, too, between 
the names of Paskevitch, Gortchakoff, Osten- 
Sacken, Liiders, and Schilders, to discover who 
was the real leader at any particular time; for 
changes were frequent. There were Turkish 
flotillas of gun-boats in the Danube, under the 
walls of Silistria and Rustchuk ; there are islands 
opposite both of these towns ; and the Russians 
frequently fired on the flotillas from the islands. 
The Russian troops employed in these several 



BATTLES OF KALAFAT, OLTENITZA, CITALE, GIURGEVO : 1853-4. 



43 



operations appear to have been worked up to an 
extraordinary state of mind ; they imagined that 
they were on the way to the Holy Land, to rescue it 
from the hands of infidels under which flattering 
appellation were included English and French as 
well as Turks. On one occasion a party of soldiers 
halted at a Wallachian cottage to ask for water ; 
having satisfied their thirst, they asked, in all 
simplicity, how far they were from Jerusalem ! 

In respect to the actual forces engaged on the 
side of the Russians in these encounters, there 
appear to have been about 130,000 troops sent 
across the Pruth by the end of January ; of whom 
35,000 fell by the sword, cold, sickness, and 
desertion leaving 95,000 in the Principalities at 
that time. 

The intention of the Russian generals seems to 
have been to commence, at the cessation of the 
severities of winter, so formidable an attack on 
Kalafat as to insure its capture. The newspapers 
frequently declared, that the Emperor Nicholas 
had ordered that position to be taken, ' cost what 
it might ;' for the power of penetrating into the 
western part of Bulgaria, and thence across one 
of the western passes of the Balkan, depended on 
the possession of Kalafat and Widdin. This inten- 
tion Avas destined to disappointment. Although 
frequent skirmishes between the Russians and the 
Turks took place within a few miles of Kalafat, no 
definite advantages were obtained. The Russians 
were too formidable in number to permit the 
Turks to make further inroads into that part of 
Wallachia, but yet they were not in sufficient 
force to seize Kalafat ; and thus February, March, 
April, May, passed away, without much change 
in the relative positions of the belligerents. At 
one time Gortchakoff, at another Schilders, at 
another Liprandi, were in command. There 
were two circumstances which embarrassed the 
Russians in Lesser Wallachia as summer approached 
the obstinate resistance of the Turks at the siege 
of Silistria, presently to be described; and the 
proposal of Austria to hold the Principalities for 
the Turks against the Russians. 

Lower down the Danube, at various points 
between "Widdin and Silistria, the Turks continued 
throughout the spring a series of desultory attacks 
crossing the Danube, and then recrossing 
effecting nothing of mark or moment, but yet 
embarrassing the Russians in their movements. 
In a letter written by Omar Pacha, which found 
its way into the newspapers, he said : ' We 
continually annoy the Russians by strong sudden 
descents upon their advanced posts on the 
Danube ;' and this will sufficiently characterise 
the warfare of the period. But when midsummer 
brought about the extraordinary and unexpected 
failure of the Russians at the siege of Silistria, 
matters took a different turn ; Bulgaria was no 
longer a place for the czar's troops ; the eyes of the 
generals became turned occasionally to their line 
of retreat towards the Pruth having both the 
Turks and Austrians to take into account. It 



was then that the Turks crossed the Danube, and 
fought the battle of Giurgevo. Relieved from all 
fear for Silistria having no longer any Russians 
near that place they saw that the time was come 
for an advance ; and although the Turkish general 
did not quite obey the instructions of Omar Pacha, 
he yet commenced a series of operations which led 
ultimately to success. 

Well contested and sanguinary, the battle of 
Giurgevo may be regarded as the last serious con- 
flict between the Turks and the Russians the last, 
in the Danubian campaign, in which the Turks 
shewed how much they could accomplish without 
English or French assistance. In the middle of 
the Danube, between Rustchuk and Giurgevo, is a 
narrow island about two miles in length. This 
island is 900 yards from the Bulgarian side, but is 
separated from the Wallachian by a very narrow 
channel only. There is a shallow pool along the 
centre of the island, and much sedge and marshy 
weed in other parts. This island was one of the 
first places fortified by the Russians when they 
arrived at the Danube in the autumn of 1853 ; and 
it was destined to be nearly the last scene of battle, 
for the engagement took place on the island, as 
well as in the village of Giurgevo. Although 
England and France were not represented by 
armies on the occasion, there were many English 
officers in the Turkish army. 

When the siege of Silistria appeared to be ending 
disastrously for the Russians, Hussein Pacha, 
Turkish commander at Rustchuk, determined to 
make a dash at the island, and, through it, at 
Giurgevo. He thought the Russians were in 
retreat, and resolved to pursue them without pre- 
viously consulting Omar Pacha ; he was wrong in 
his belief, and his resolve led him into difficulties 
which taxed his courage and skill. Among the 
officers under his command were General Cannon 
under the Oriental name of Behram Pacha 
Lieutenant Burke of the Royal Engineers, Lieu- 
tenant Meynell of the 75th, Captain Arnold of the 
Bombay Engineers, and Colonel Ogleby all of 
whom took a sort of voluntary honorary share in 
the proceedings. These English officers, in fact, 
managed the expedition, under the orders of 
Hussein Pacha. At four o'clock on the morning 
of the 7th of July, four boats filled with 350 men 
passed over from Rustchuk to the island ; while a 
steamer landed 200 men a little higher up the 
one party commanded by General Cannon, the 
other by Colonel Ogleby. The Russian pickets 
retired hastily ; but soon afterwards a body of 
riflemen appeared, and fired at the Turks from 
among the sedge and brushwood. The Turkish 
riflemen replied, and kept up a sharp fire. Russian 
infantry, however, now began to advance in great 
force ; and General Cannon recrossed to Rustchuk, 
to announce to Hussein Pacha that he must either 
have reinforcements or withdraw his troops. The 
two small bodies of Turks had by this time joined, 
under Colonel Ogleby, and were driven back to 
the very edge of the island, bravely bearing up 



44 



CAMPAIGN OX THE DANUBE. 



against formidable numbers. Reinforcements now 
arrived from Rustclmk, until Oglcby found himself 
at length at the head of 5000 men ; while the 
Russians were, in like manner, reinforced from the 
Giurgevo side. For ten hours continuously did 
the struggle last, until nightfall put an end to it. 
Busily did the Turks occupy themselves during the 
night, throwing up intrenchments, and preparing 
for a renewal of warm work on the morrow ; but 
when daylight arrived, they were surprised to find 
that the Russians had retreated during the night, 
and were at that moment passing out of the village 
of Slobodsa, on the Wallachian side. The Turks 
immediately advanced, and occupied Giurgevo. 
The loss was severe : 300 killed and 600 wounded 
on the side of the Turks ; and a much larger, but 
unknown number, on the side of the Russians. 
The floating of dead bodies down the Danube 
conveyed to Silistria the first news of the engage- 
ment. Soon after this, a corps of engineers laid 
down a bridge from the island to the Wallachian 
shore, and Omar Pacha passed the Danube with 
an army of 45,000 men. 

The battle of Giurgevo was very disastrous to 
the English officers engaged. Lieutenant Burke, 
Lieutenant Meynell, and Captain Arnold crossed 
to the island early in the day, with a few hundred 
men each ; but, through want of sufficient concert, 
they landed at three different points, and were 
never able to assist each other. Burke and his 
party were attacked fiercely by the Russians 
immediately on landing ; they were all, after a 
long struggle, either bayoneted or driven into the 
river ; and Burke himself, sharing manfully the 
dangers with those under him, fell with two rifle- 
balls and thirty bayonet wounds. Meynell expe- 
rienced almost exactly the same fate as Burke, at 
a different part of the island-shore. Arnold had at 
first a gleam of success : he advanced against one 
of the Russian batteries, and drove them out of the 
intrenchment ; but a superior force came against 
him, and the bayonet and the river put an end to 
his corps as to the other two. Xot only were these 
three unfortunate small bodies of troops separated 
one from another, but each and all were far distant 
from the main body under Colonel Ogleby. The 
bodies of Arnold and Meynell were never found. 
Burke's body was found, and was interred in a 
simple way affecting from its very simplicity. 
His loss was greatly regretted ; for he was not only 
a skilful officer, but it was remembered that he 
had strongly objected to Hussein Pacha's attack, 
as being in its character injudicious ; and his loss, 
under such circumstances, was all the more to be 
lamented. He had just rendered Omar Pacha 
service in the defence of Silistria ; and was about 
to depart for the scene of operations on the Circas- 
sian shores of the Black Sea, when his career was 
thus suddenly ended. 

After the contest at and near Giurgevo, some 
of the Russians retreated to Frateschti, some to 
Kalugereni, and some to a position still nearer 
Bucharest. The Turks crossed the Danube at two 



other points, a few miles above, and a few miles 
below Rustchuk, nearly at the time when the attack 
upon the island took place; and there were, in 
effect, three battles in progress at once one on the 
island, and two between the Danube and Bucharest. 
The Russian generals were unfortunate in these en- 
counters : Pagoff and Beboutoff were both wounded ; 
while General Aurep, disgraced by the czar for his 
want of success, committed suicide. The Turkish 
Generals Iskender Bey, Halim Pacha, and Said 
Pacha, had various and frequent advantages over 
their antagonists of the Russian army. The two 
leaders were in near vicinity; and in proportion 
as Omar Pacha advanced into Wallachia, so did 
Prince Gortchakoff retire. The latter gathered 
his scattered forces from various directions, and 
posted them, to the number of 60,000, behind 
the river Arjish, in a position to command the 
roads from Giurgevo to Bucharest. These busy 
events in and around Giurgevo occurred during 
the first two weeks of July. 



OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCI1A AND 
AT SILISTRIA. 

While the Turks, during the winter and spring, 
were thus making formidable attacks on the 
Wallachian side of the Danube, and occupying 
positions whence they could not be dislodged, the 
Russians were making attacks on the Bulgarian 
side, which there placed the Turks on the defensive. 
These attacks were mostly made in the Dobrudscha, 
near the mouth of the Danube; and at Silistria, 
which underwent a formidable siege. 

This Dobrudscha is a remarkable district. The 
Danube, after an eastward course, turns suddenly 
to the north at Rassova; then bends eastward at 
Galatz ; and finally empties itself into the Black Sea 
by several mouths, of which the Kilia, the Sulina, 
and the St George's, are the chief. The central 
mouth, the Sulina, is that which is adopted for the 
maintenance of the greater part of the trade of the 
Danube. The strip of land bounded on the west and 
north by these two bends of the river, and on the 
east by the Black Sea, constitutes the Dobrudscha. 
It is inhabited chiefly by a remnant of the Xogay 
Tatars, who, driven from Southern Russia by the 
Muscovites, sought a refuge here : they have 
intermarried Avith the Bulgarian peasantry, and, 
after having been converted to Christianity, they 
gradually conformed so intimately to the habits 
and usages of their neighbours, that they can now 
hardly be distinguished from the pure Bulgarians. 
The Dobrudscha is a wretched country. As far as 
the eye can reach, not a tree, not a shrub appears ; 
the slight inequalities of the ground are covered 
with a coarse grass, which becomes yellow rather 
than green in the summer. Although near a large 
river, water is hardly visible on the surface, except 
in stagnant pools and marshes, and the inhabitants 
are forced to dig wells to obtain it. On the 
north, the Dobrudscha is bounded by the numerous 



OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCHA AND AT SILISTRIA : 1853-4. 



45 



flat islands which constitute the delta of the 
Danube. These islands have no inhabitants, no 
trees, no shrubs ; mosquitoes, ague, and fever attack 
those who make any long stay on these miserable 
spots. The Romans, when they arrived in their 
victorious career at this part of the Danubian 
regions, deemed the Dobrudscha a fitting place to 
act as a barrier against northern barbarians ; they 
did not attempt to occupy it, but separated it from 
Mcesia the name then given to Bulgaria by a 
wall running from the Danube to the Black Sea ; 
the terminal points of this wall are now marked 
by the towns of Rassova and Kustendji; and the 
wall itself, or its site, is still marked in the maps. 
Wretched as the place is, it has often been traversed 
by armies. When the Russians were in Bulgaria 
in 1828-9, the Dobrudscha suffered severely ; many 
of the villages were quite extinguished, and all the 
towns were greatly reduced in population. At 
present, the inhabitants are supposed to be about 
20,000 in number, in a district 70 miles long by 50 
or 60 in width. The towns of Tultcha, Isakcha, 
Matchin, Hirsova, Rassova, Babadagh, and Kus- 
tendji, though important as military positions, 
are little other than villages in appearance and 
population. 

It may be proper here to state, that a project 
was brought forward many years ago, and has 
been frequently discussed, to make a ship-canal 
across the neck of the Dobrudscha from Rassova to 
Kustendji, nearly in the line of Trajan's Wall. The 
Sulina mouth of the Danube is gradually becoming 
choked with sand ; and the Russians, as part of 
their sinister policy, are more disposed to promote 
than remove the obstruction. It is conceived, 
therefore, that a canal, entirely within the limits 
of Bulgaria, would be advantageous, as being under 
the control of the Turkish authorities, and as saving 
a distance of considerably more than 200 miles in 
a voyage from the Middle or Upper Danube to 
Constantinople. There arc, however, great diffi- 
culties in the way difficulties which would entail 
an expenditure of several millions sterling, and a 
necessity for several years of peace and internal 
prosperity. The canal would require to be cut 
at certain places to a depth of 120 feet, along an 
aggregate distance of ten miles. In the formation 
of Kustendji, too, into a harbour fitted for large 
commerce, great outlay would be incurred ; for the 
ships have, during many centuries, been in the 
habit of emptying out their ballast there, until the 
harbour has become almost completely silted up. 
Supposing it to be at all practicable, a canal here 
would certainly be of great value. ' It is impossible 
not to feel hearty good wishes for the success of 
this project. It would almost totally supersede 
the difficulty about 4he Sulina mouth of the 
Danube, which must always exist even if pei-fect 
fair play were observed ; and 'few matters can have 
more direct bearing upon the general interests of 
European commerce. It is an important point for 
our consideration at the present moment, that 
the largest portion of our direct importations 



into the Turkish dominions are consumed in the 
Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia.' * Some 
engineers have directed their attention rather to 
a railway than a canal across this isthmus ; but 
Turkey must undergo many ameliorations before 
railways can be reckoned among her media of 
commerce. The Dobrudscha in war-time, however, 
and not when the arts of peace are free to exercise 
their beneficial influence, is that with which we 
have now to treat. 

Although the Russian operations in the Dobrud- 
scha took the lead in importance, the Turks actually 
commenced in order of time. As early as October 
23, 1853, before the crossings at Kalafat and 
Oltenitza, a collision occurred near the mouth of 
the Danube. On the preceding day, a Russian 
flotilla stationed at Ismail on the northern or 
Kilia arm of the river had sent off eight gun- 
boats, with six companies on board, in tow of two 
steamers, up the river to Galatz and 'Ibraila 
(Brailow, BrailofF). In their voyage they had to 
pass Isakcha, on the Turkish side of the river ; 
and the Turks then fired upon them the fire 
being returned by the gun-boats, and also by a 
body of Russian troops posted at Satanova opposite. 
About 100 Russians were killed and wounded, 
including the commander ; but the gun-boats 
succeeded in passing on to their destination. 

This was the commencement of bloodshed 
between the two forces. To prevent a repetition 
of such an attack, and to obtain entrance to Bulga- 
ria through the Dobrudscha, the Russians assumed 
the offensive ; and throughout the Danubian 
campaign, they took the lead in this part of the 
field of operations. The Russians made frequent 
attacks on the Dobrudscha, under General Liiders ; 
and Omar Pacha ordered that, if a passage were 
made, the Turks should thereupon fall back to the 
line of Trajan's Wall, to bar further progress. The 
Russians collected a park of artillery at Galatz in 
December, numbering 120 guns. At Galatz and 
Ibraila they assembled about 10,000 men ; but the 
Turkish garrisons at Matchin, Tultcha, and Isakcha, 
were at that time very small. In the little nook of 
country near the mouth of the Danube, where 
Wallachia, Bulgaria, Moldavia, and Bessarabia all 
meet, the Russians speedily brought down upon 
themselves the dislike and indignation of the 
inhabitants, by their unjust and even barbarous 
conduct. In the district of Meheden/,, a Russian 
general ordered all the men, women, and even 
young girls, to be employed in the severest labour 
for the service of the army ; and when the villagers 
of Isvosila refused to obey, a detachment of 200 
Cossacks was sent to chastise them ; the villagers 
defended themselves, but were nearly all put to 
death during the struggle. A few who escaped, 
gave the alarm to the neighbouring villages ; and 
during the ensuing night, 3000 peasants fell upon 
the Cossacks, and exterminated them. Hereupon 
the general ordered all the corn and provisions of 

* Earl of Carlisle's Diary, p. 174. 



46 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



the villages for miles round to be seized for the use 
of the Russian army ; and the poor peasants found 
themselves visited by the sword and by hunger 
in the midst of winter, at the hands of their 
' protectors.' 

On the 8th of January, 3000 Russians crossed the 
Danube from Ibraila to Matchin, destroyed some 
field-works, and then retired under a brisk fire 
from the Turks. They also formed an intrenched 
camp in the island of Tchetal, in the Danube ; 
which Halim Pacha prepared to attack from 
Tultcha. The Turks raised fortifications opposite 
all the Russian strong posts, with a view of 
resisting any and every passage as stoutly as 
possible ; and from these opposed positions, as 
well as from the islands in the Danube, almost 
daily firings were maintained. On the 12th, 
General Engelhardt crossed from Galatz with 2000 
men, and inflicted some mischief on the Turks. 

The Russians fought by means of priests as well 
as by gunpowder. When they entered the Princi- 
palities, prayers and hymns were provided, suitable 
to the language and religion of the AVallachians ; 
and Avhen the Danube was about to be crossed, 
those same effusions were translated into the 
Bulgarian tongue. The prayers and hymns were 
printed in thousands, and were distributed by trusty 
ageuts. There was a general supplication for all 
orthodox believers, and for the synod and clergy ; 
and then a special prayer for the Most Pious 
Autocrat, the Grand Master and Emperor of 
All the Russias, Nicholas Paulovitch, in which the 
Almighty is prayed to protect him ' from all evil, 
passion, and distress ; to preserve him from all 
enemies, visible and invisible ; to grant him peace, 
health, and a long life ; and to encompass him with 
armed angels.' The Russian royal family were in 
like spirit to be prayed for ' Give, O Lord, to 
the Emperor Nicholas, to the Empress Alexandrina 
Feodorovna, and to their offspring, happy days, a 
peaceful life, health, and safety ; and grant them 
the victory over all their enemies.' When such 
documents are distributed among the subjects of 
a neighbouring sovereign, it is easy to see how 
largely the religious element is adopted by one of 
the belligerents as an instrument of warfare. 
The soldiers belonging to the corps which Osten- 
Sacken brought into the Principalities, had the 
Greek cross depicted on their flags a sufficient 
indication of the crusading spirit which the generals 
wished to impart to the war. 

During January and February, the Turks suc- 
ceeded in repelling most of the attacks of the 
Russians in the Dobrudscha ; but the Russian forces 
became afterwards too powerful to be successfully 
resisted. In the latter half of the month of March, 
the Russians crossed the Danube from Galatz, 
Ibraila, and Ismail, and captured Tultcha, Matchin, 
and Isakcha ; a few days afterwards, they took 
Hirsova; and the Turks next abandoned Czerna- 
voda, near the Rassova end of Trajan's "Wall. These 
operations rendered the Russians in great part 
masters of the Dobrudscha ; but it was not without 



severe losses that they obtained such advantages 
over the Turks. And worse was to follow ; for the 
Turks succeeded in preventing the Russians from 
advancing southward out of the Dobrudscha ; and 
thus the latter remained for several weeks indeed, 
during the greater part of April and May pent 
up in this dismal, marshy, unwholesome district, 
with a broad river belu'nd them, an active enemy 
in front of them, a hostile fleet on the east, 
and a discontented peasantry around them. So 
completely, indeed, was this the case, that during 
the remainder of the campaign, a Russian army 
remained locked up, as it were, in the Dobrudscha, 
contributing little towards the advancement of the 
czar's favourite objects. 

A correspondent of the Times made a comparison 
between the condition of the Russian and Turkish 
soldiers, as exhibited during these frequent conflicts. 
' From all that I can hear, the Turkish troops are far 
better fed than the Russians across the river ; and 
this physical support, added to the more impetuous 
bravery of tho Turk, renders the private Ottoman 
soldier decidedly superior to the Russian. At 
Oltenitza, the Russian officers were ahead of the 
infantry, sabre in hand, tugging on the not over- 
willing troops. On the contrary, the Turkish 
soldier was like the willing horse that required 
neither whip nor spur. It is in the excellent 
superior and staff officers, in the admirable cavalry 
horses, and in the native intelligence of the 
Cossacks, that the real strength of the Russian 
army lies certainly not in either the moral or 
physical vigour of the common soldier.' The 
contrast, however, appears not to be always favour- 
able to the Turk : ' But the Turkish soldier is as 
much worse dressed and equipped than the Russian 
as he is better fed. The coat and the two vests, 
which he receives once a year, are of bad cloth, and 
badly fitted. Instead of being done by open con- 
tract, they come out of the government establish- 
ments at Constantinople and Slivno, in Bulgaria. 
The soldier also receives one fez and two shirts a 
year, which are of fair quality ; but the fez is 
certainly a most unsuitable head-dress cold in 
winter, and exposing the eyes to the glare of 
both sun and snow. The want of a cravat is 
also a great defect. The allowance of shoes is 
apparently liberal, being three pair a year ; but 
there is no soling, and they are often worn out in 
six weeks. In order to prevent the soldier from 
wearing his shoe down at the heel, the heels are 
hard, and consequently rub out the stocking in a 
day's time. The greatcoat and hood, furnished 
once in three years, are the best part of the 
costume; but, altogether, one may say respectfully 
to the minister of war, "Reform your tailor's 
bills."' At Shumla, the* correspondent had a 
word to say concerning the Turkish commissariat. 
'Early in the morning you may see orderly- 
sergeants, followed by a file of men, passing hither 
and thither in the streets, carrying the uncooked 
meat and rice, which is about to be converted into 
soup or pilau. A couple of hours later, you may 



OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCHA AND AT SILISTRIA : 1853-4. 



see the cooked rations carried to the different 
houses where the men are quartered. But you 
see no trains of commissariat wagons in or about 
the town ; and every one knows there are no 
magazines. How the army is fed, is a mystery at 
first sight to a military man. To explain it, you 
must have a knowledge of the people and the 
circumstances of the country : you must know, 
that to the Christians of Bulgaria tradition has 
taught the necessity of obedience to masters whom 
they have not the courage or the ability to resist. 
They know that, being ordered to bring supplies 
for the army, they must do so ; and finding that 
on delivery they receive bans for payment, which, 
after some time, are converted into money by the 
authorities in the villages and towns they not 
only submit, but are glad to bring in supplies to 
feed the hosts which a few months back they 
imagined would have devastated their territory.' 
The matter is plain enough : if both Turks and 
Russians make compulsory demands on the 
peasants, the latter have little to choose between 
them ; but if the Turks pay, and the Russians 
pay not, the Turks will naturally be the favourites. 

The only great contest in which the numbers 
engaged were formidable in the Dobrudscha, 
occurred on the 18th and 19th of April, when 
Omar Pacha attacked Liiders in great force. The 
collision was not exactly in the Dobrudscha, but 
between Silistria and Rassova ; the Russians, 
however, after great loss on both sides, Avere 
driven past Rassova into Czernavoda, and again 
shut up in the Dobrudscha. 

It is now time to attend to the siege of Silistria 
the most remarkable event in the Danubian 
campaign. 

This town is perhaps the most important pos- 
sessed by Turkey on the banks of the Danube. 
Whether it is equalled by "Widdin in a military 
sense, is hard to say. The Danube is very broad at 
Silistria. The town contains about 20,000 inhabi- 
tants. It was held for some time by Russia, as a 
pledge for the fulfilment by the Turks of the 
provisions of the Treaty of Adrianople; and during 
that period a large Greek church and convent 
were commenced. The town is nearly semi- 
circular in form, with five bastions on the river- 
side, and seven landward. All the scarps and 
counterscarps of these bastions are of solid 
masonry. The main strength of the place consists 
in a series of detached forts, commanding the 
whole enciente of the town. One of these forts, 
called Abdul-Medjid, after the name of the sultan, is 
on an eminence at the back of Silistria, and is flanked 
on the right and left by two others the three 
enclosing a kind of oval space. The town and its 
forts have been compared to a bracelet, of which 
Silistria is the jewel, and fort Abdul-Medjid the 
clasp the two being connected by the minor forts 
on either side. The positions of these forts have 
direct relation to the bastions of the town; and 
most of these great defensive works were con- 
structed by the Turks during the last six months of 



1853 so important is Silistria deemed by them in 
a time of war. The fortifications were planned by 
Colonel Gutzkavskoi, a Polish officer. The fort 
Abdul-Medjid is of a semi-octagonal form ; and in 
the centre of its base or diameter is a shell-proof 
redoubt, having a vaulted roof of vast solidity. 
Outside this redoubt is an esplanade ; then a 
pentagonal rampart ; and then a wall, loopholed 
for infantry, completely sunk between the ram- 
part and the covered-way, with three shell-proof 
block-houses, each mounted with 12-pound 
howitzers. Three of the minor forts, to assist 
the Abdul-Medjid in defending Silistria, are on 
neighbouring but lower eminences ; and four 
others are in the low ground east and west of the 
town. The main defences, however, in the great 
struggle of 1854, were earthworks constructed 
eastward of the town. 

The Russians and the Turks are equally aware 
of the strategetical importance of Silistria. If this 
town be taken, the Turks at once lose one angle of 
the triangle which it forms with Rustchuk and 
Shumla ; they become, moreover, in danger of 
losing any troops which they may have in the 
Dobrudscha, and which might thus be cut off; and 
the Russians, in holding Silistria, would possess 
a fete depont for operations on Shumla and Varna, 
in the direction of the Balkan. The Russians 
found the conquest of Silistria practicable in 
1828-9 ; but the fortifications and the troops 
were of a very different character in 1854, when 
another attack was made. 

Although there were repeated skirmishes during 
the winter near Silistria, sometimes on one side of 
the Danube, and sometimes on the other, it was 
not until April that siege operations commenced 
in form. About the 14th of this month, Russian 
batteries of great power were completed on the 
north bank of the Danube, and a bombardment 
commenced. This cannonading was continued 
almost uninterruptedly for a fortnight, day and 
night, during which time a prodigious number of 
balls and shells were thrown into the town. By 
the close of the month, the Russians had estab- 
lished other batteries on the south bank, east of 
the town. Fearful was the destruction ; the Turks 
were so incessantly active, so bold and resolute, 
that every operation by General Schilders was 
watched and met promptly ; and it was three 
weeks before the investment was completed. The 
Russian forces were, however, tremendous ; besides 
enormous batteries on the north shore, there were 
no less than 50,000 troops conveyed over to the 
south shore ; while the Turks were less than 
10,000 altogether. Eastward of the town were 
some earthworks, called tablets, sufficiently elevated 
to command the town itself; these the Russians 
naturally wished to take ; these the Turks naturally 
determined to defend ; and the hand-to-hand 
conflict became terrific. The Turks were well 
commanded ; and, as usual, they fought well when 
the officers were men of skill and courage. The 
commander of Silistria was Mussa or Moussa 



48 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



Pacha, Director-general of the Artillery of the 
Turkish Empire ; a man well versed in the best 
sv>teins <>f Kuropean artillery and fortifications, 
and possessing energy and spirit unlike those 
which A\e are in tlie habit of attributing to the 
' la/v Turks.' He Avas seconded by Mehciuet Bey, 
roloiirl of cir.'iiieers a Mulatto of herculean frame, 
who had arrived with a contingent of tried 
;,iian soldiers. 

tli is was a period at which the Turks waited 
anxiously for any help which their Allies could 
afford them. They had heard much of the formid- 
able preparations of the English and French at 
Varna and Gallipoli, and elsewhere ; and they 
naturally thought that now, when the most critical 
period of the campaign had arrived, was the time 
at which aid should be afforded to them. But 
such was not to be. The English and French 
generals were embarrassed by intricate diplomacy 
and uncertain orders from London and Paris ; 
and none of their regiments were sent to Silis- 
tria. What were the Turks to do ? They were 
hemmed into a town on the banks of the 
Danube, a mere handful of men ; they looked out 
in vain for help from other quarters ; and they 
were beset by a Russian army, which swelled 
day by day, and which now numbered Prince 
Paskevitch among its officers. Early in Slay, 
the Russians established a position in some small 
islands immediately in front of the town; and 
the Turks had to defend themselves against these 
assailants, as well as against those who had landed 
on the south shore. 

The Turks began to droop ; and they would 
perhaps have drooped more drooped to destruc- 
tion but for two Englishmen. There happened 
to be two young officers on their passage from 
India to England, Captain Butler, and Lieu- 
tenant Nasmyth, who stopped at Silistria on their 
way. Their blood warmed up at the heroic 
defence made by the Turks ; and they did their 
best to render the defence still more heroic. They 
taught the Turks a few things which they had 
learned in India ; and they assisted a Prussian 
officer, who happened also to be present, to give 
a scientific turn to some of the defensive opera- 
tions. Thus encouraged, the small band of Turks 
fought wonderfully ; they made frequent sorties, 
svhich inflicted great loss on the Russians. 

The Russian operations, when the troops had 
crossed the Danube, were chiefly eastward of the 
town. Here the Turks had two forts or earth- 
works the Arab Tabia and the Illani Tabia. 
Earthen as they were, the safety of Silistria 
depended on their preservation ; and there have 
perhaps been few examples in war in which earth- 
works have been so pertinaciously attacked and 
defended. Schilders brought an enormous force 
to bear against them ; but the Turks, burrowing 
in holes to avoid the bursting shells, re-appeared 
instantly, and disputed, inch by inch, the posses- 
sion of the ground. By the middle of May, the 
Russians outside Silistria amounted to nearlv 



70,000, of whom nearly one-half Avere on the right 
bank of the river, Avhile the rest were in the 
islands and on the opposite shore. The fort Abdul- 
Medjid, or Medjidie Tabia, was too strong to be 
attacked until the earthworks were taken; and 
thus for three weeks was an incessant bombard- 
ment of the Arab Tabia maintained, conducted by 
Prince Paskevitch in person. 

The 29th of May (1854) Avas a tremendous day at 
Silistria a day not speedily to be forgotten. Three 
bodies of Russians, amounting in the Avhole to 30,000 
men, proceeded to storm the forts some advancing 
to Arab Tabia, and some to Illani Tabia and all 
well provided with fascines, scaling-ladders, and 
the other apparatus necessary for a storming-party. 
A letter from Lieutenant Nasmyth thus speaks of 
the day's hot Avork : ' About midnight, aroused 
by the report of musketry from Arab Tabia ; and 
on reaching the rampart at the Stamboul Gate, 
found that a second and much more serious night- 
attack on that Avork Avas going on. The first assault 
Avas on the left face, the enemy actually penetrating 
into the redoubt before they Avere observed. A 
Russian officer who led it, and cut doAvn a lieutenant 
of artillery, Avas immediately brained by a hand- 
spike. A seA*ere and desperate struggle took place, 
terminating in the repulse of the enemy, who Avere 
driven into the ditch, having suffered severely from 
our grape and canister tearing through them. 
Re-forming, they again attempted it in the same 
place, led gallantly on Avith drums beating, but 
Avere again driven back Avith great slaughter. 
After about a quarter of an hour, a third attack 
Avas made this time on both left and front faces 
at once, but meeting Avith the same determined 
resistance. After a bloody fight, the Russians Avere 
finally beaten offj the Albanians pursuing them 
into their OAvn batteries. The force in Arab Tabia 
at the time was only four battalions of Egyptians, 
and 500 Albanians, under the command of Hussein 
Pacha. The lowest estimate of the numbers Avitli 
AA'hich the enemy attacked is nine battalions ; and 
it is not improbable, from the number of dead 
found in and about the fort, that this is considerably 
under the mark. The affair lasted from midnight 
till after daybreak, and is one of the most brilliant 
occurrences in the Avhole course of the siege.' 
The Turks lost about 200 killed and Avounded in 
this attack ; Avhile it is asserted, on more than one 
authority, that the Russian loss could not have been 
much less than ten times as great, so murderous 
Avas the fire Avith which the Turks met them. 

It was about this period that an interview took 
place between the opposing commanders, under a 
flag of truce. If the conversation be correctly 
reported, it was certainly characteristic of the 
respective nations. Prince Paskevitch said, that it 
might perhaps stop the further effusion of blood if 
he made the simple announcement, that the czar, 
his imperial master, had sent positive orders that 
the place must be taken. Mussa Pacha replied, that 
lie also had a simple announcement to make, to the 
effect that ' Abdul-Medjid Khan had honoured 



OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCHA AND AT SILISTRIA : 1853-4. 



49 



him with positive instructions to defend the place, 
and that he would not surrender even if he had 
but a thousand men, and all Russia was at its 
gates, headed by the czar in person.' There is one 
account of this interview Avhich states, that the 
Muscovite prince thereupon made a sort of masonic 
sign with his hand, denoting a large sum of money ; 
which sign the Turk did not deem it consistent 
with his duty to respond to. Unfortunately for 
Russia, bribery is too prevalent to permit us to 
disbelieve the probability of such an occurrence 
as this. 

On the 31st of May, the Russians resumed ope- 
rations by a fierce assault ; but they were received 
as fiercely as before, and were repulsed with a loss 
of 2000 men. On the 2d of June, a mine was 
sprung, which might have worked terrible mischief 
to the Turks ; but being badly primed, it exploded 
in the wrong direction, and killed Russians instead 
of Turks. It was on this day that the Turks met 
with a severe loss in the person of their gallant 
commander, Mussa Pacha, who was struck between 
the shoulders by a piece of an exploding shell while 
sitting outside his quarters at the Stamboul Gate : 
he had just received intelligence that the sultan 
had sent him the Order of Medjidie for his gal- 
lantry; but he did not live to wear this honour. 
Being an active, intelligent, and skilful officer, as 
well as devoted to his sovereign and kind to his 
men, his loss was much deplored. The command 
devolved upon Hussein Pacha, who was succeeded 
at the Arab Tabia by Latif Bey. The 2d of June 
was a busy day in yet another particular the 
arrival of a reinforcement of 5000 Bashi-Bazouks 
under Mchemet Pacha. 

After various assaults on the part of the Russians, 
and various sorties of the Turks, the 13th of June 
was the day fixed upon for a tremendous attack 
by the Russians. Prince Gortchakoff had received 
a contusion which compelled him to retire ; but 
Paskevitch and Schilders headed the formidable 
movement in person. The Russians had become 
quite dispirited by this long scries of unsuccessful 
attacks, and it was as much as Paskevitch, Schil- 
ders, and Liiders could do to urge them to this grand 
assault. The conflict was terrific ; the Russians 
were impelled by the mingled threats and encou- 
ragements of their commanders the Turks would 
not yield an inch in any quarter. The cannon- 
ading and musketry were incessant ; Schilders was 
struck by a cannon-ball, which carried off both his 
legs ; Liiders had his jaw carried away ; Paskevitch 
was slightly wounded ; Orloff was dangerously 
wounded ; and Dannenberg, who had failed in 
Wallachia, had to take the command. The defeat 
of the Russians was utter and complete mortifying 
to them beyond almost any event of the campaign. 
The Turks fought with a degree of obstinate per- 
severance and dauntless valour which is said to 
have utterly confounded the Russians ; they rushed 
up close to the Russian batteries with hatchets, if 
other weapons were wanting, and in many cases 
scared away the gunners by their very audacity. 



The Russian works outside Silistria at this time 
were quite extraordinary for their magnitude. 
There was a bridge of boats across the Danube; 
there were batteries on two islands in the river; 
and there were numerous batteries on the south 
side of the river, eastward of the town. The 
Russian covered-ways extended their zigzags for 
some miles, the nearest at about 50, and the 
furthest at about 300 yards from the Arab Tabia. 
There was an encampment in a hollow beyond, 
and this encampment was defended by numerous 
small forts, some as far distant as seven miles from 
the town. 

The Turks met with, a sad loss in Captain Butler, 
who was wounded on the 13th, while making a 
reconnoissance of the enemy's position for a proposed 
sortie. He was struck in the forehead by a ball ; 
and although there was no apparent danger, 
he sank eight days afterwards. Yet the Turks, 
although they had lost Mussa Pacha and Captain 
Butler, did not relax their defensive operations for 
an instant. Not only were the Russians defeated 
on the 13th, but an immense portion of their siege- 
works was destroyed. On the 15th, the Turks 
assumed the offensive : they made a sortie ; they 
drove the Russians across the Danube ; they 
gained access to the islands ; they turned the 
guns in these islands against the Wallachian 
shore; and they erected new batteries of their 
own on the Danube front of Silistria. 

At length, on the 23d of June, after a close siege 
of forty-five days, the Russians had the humiliation 
of retiring from their work, beaten at all points. 
In every particular, the Turks had o'ertopped them 
in glory. The Russian army was many times 
as large as the Turkish, yet not one of its assaults 
had been successful. There were 7000 Russians 
left killed or wounded outside Silistria ; while the 
hospitals on the Wallachian side are said to have 
received as many as 20,000 invalids, who had 
suffered in various ways during the siege. The 
conflict on the earthworks was often quite 
remarkable : when the walls and embrasures 
were knocked to pieces, the Turks would burrow 
in passages beneath their redoubts, wait till the 
cannonading was suspended, watch for the ap- 
proach of the storming-parties, rush out of their 
places of concealment, and fall upon the Russians 
with inconceivable fury, overthrowing and 
repulsing them by their impetuosity. The defence 
of Silistria has attracted much attention from 
those engineers who advocate earthworks instead 
of masonry for fortifications. 

It was right that the Turks should honour 
the memory of Captain Butler. Omar Pacha 
wrote a letter to Lord Raglan, dated 1st July, in 
which he said : ' Parmi les braves qui out pris 
part a la defense glorieusc de Silistrie, se trouvaient 
deux officiers Anglais, dont je ne dois oublier les 
noms. Le jeune Capitaine Butler, arrive pendant 
1'hiver avec M. Nasmyth au Quartier General de 
Shumla, etait a Silistrie au moment ou les Russes 
commcngaient 1'attaque centre la place. Tous les 



50 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



deux pouvaicnt se r6tirer, mais, la voix do 1'houneur 
parlant haut chez eux, ils prefdrerent de rcster, 
dans 1'iddo d'etre utilo dans la lutte qui se pre*- 
parait. Leur cxemple, leur conseil, ont puissamment 
contribuds a la conservation des forts attaquds. . . . 
Malheureusement, M. Butler, blessd d'un balle au 
front, a trouvd la une mort glorieuse ; mais sa 
mdmoire ne pdrira pas dans 1'armde Ottomaue.' 
Lord Raglan, in a dispatch to the Duke of New- 
castle, spoke of Captain Butler as an officer who 
'had so greatly distinguished himself, and had in 
all he had done shewn so much prudence, courage, 
and ability, that his death cannot be too deeply 
lamented.' Lord Hardinge, when the news 
reached England, wrote a generous and feeling 
letter to Lieutenant-general Butler, concerning 
the death of his young and heroic son, who, 
although only twenty-seven years of age, had 
served against the Kafirs, and for several years 
in Ceylon. In the course of the letter, his lordship 
said : ' During the whole of the siege, your son 
displayed very rare qualities, combining with the 
skill and intelligence of an accomplished officer, 
the intrepidity of the most daring soldier ; at one 
moment gaining the confidence of the garrison 
over which he had only the authority of a very 
young volunteer by the example of his personal 
valour ; at another, prolonging the defence of the 
place by the prudence and firmness of his counsel ; 
and, on all occasions, infusing into those around 
him that spirit of heroic resistance which led to 
its triumphant defence.' A letter from the seat of 
war stated, in reference to Butler, 'there can be 
no doubt that he and Lieutenant Nasmyth have 
been the mainstay of the place ; as, had it not 
been for their energetic remonstrances on the 
25th May, the outwork of Arab Tabia would have 
been abandoned.' It is said that Omar Pacha was 
more affected by the death of Captain Butler than 
by any other event in the course of the campaign. 
The young Englishman was attended to the grave, 
in the Armenian cemetery at Silistria, by officers 
from every company in the Turkish army. 

A correspondent of one of the London news- 
papers, by permission of Omar Pacha, visited 
Silistria immediately after the siege. He said : 
' The street through which we passed was broken 
every few yards by large holes, five feet deep and 
three wide, in which were the remnants of Russian 
shells. The roofs of the houses were all more or 
less pierced by the passage of these terrible balls, 
and the party-walls were full of holes. The mina- 
rets in many places were pierced into steeples a 
giorno; but though many were much damaged,none 
had fallen. Nor had the houses crumbled to the 
ground under the fire, but stood bravely up under 
their wounds ; it seemed, in truth, as if the 
edifices of Silistria had partaken of the spirit of 
its defenders, and had determined, like them, not 
to fall at any price. It is almost needless to say, 
that in Silistria no inhabitants had remained 
they had all taken refuge in caves scooped out of 
the earth at the side of the hills, where they lay 



safely ensconced, suffering no doubt from want of 
motion, and sometimes from want of food, but 
safe. The soldiers alone remained in this place, 
sleeping at their posts by the walls, where they 
could man them at a moment's notice.' There 
was a spot where, during the siege, the Russians 
imagined the Turks had hidden in underground 
passages. ' Upon this spot they had thrown 
thousands of shells. The places where they 
exploded harmlessly, were marked by little sticks 
planted there by the Turks ; they were willow- 
wands, which, if they were to grow, would make 
a small forest. To the right of this favourite spot, 
no less than 2000 unexploded shells were picked 
up during the progress of the siege. This may 
give a faint idea of the warmth, more than 
tropical, there during several weeks.' 

Lieutenant Nasmyth who was raised to the 
rank of major by his own government, decorated 
with the Cross of the Legion of Honour by the 
French, and with that of the Medjidie" by the 
Turks commented, with some severity, in a letter 
in the Times, on the Russian tactics at Silistria. 
' The Turkish army,' he says, ' may well talk with 
pride. Their opponents had an army on the right 
bank of the Danube, which at one time amounted 
to 60,000 men. They had 60 guns in position, and 
threw upwards of 50,000 shot and shell, besides an 
incalculable quantity of small-arm ammunition. 
They constructed more than three miles of 
approaches, and sprang six mines. Yet during 
forty days, not one inch of ground was gained ; 
and they abandoned the siege, leaving the petty 
field-work against which their principal efforts had 
been directed, a shapeless mass from the effects of 
their mines and batteries, but still in possession of 
its original defenders.' 

We are now in a position to gather up the 
scattered threads of the Danubian campaign. 
When once the Turks had succeeded in making a 
passage from Widdin to Kalafat, all attempts of the 
Russians to dislodge them from the last-named 
town proved unavailing ; and, as was narrated in 
a former page, the Russians found it necessary to 
retreat across the Aluta towards Bucharest, as 
summer approached. The various contests at 
Oltenitza, and other parts on the north side of 
the Danube, in the wide extent between Kalafat 
and Rassova, were desultory, so far as regards any 
permanent advantage of one army over the other. 
The Russian occupation of the Dobrudscha, too, 
became nearly fruitless, as long as they were 
prevented from passing out of that district towards 
the south or west. Thus it arose that the siege of 
Silistria became the turning-point of the whole 
campaign : if the Russians had gained it, the 
command thence obtained over Bulgaria would 
have given them great advantages in respect to 
any future proceedings; but the utter failure of 
the siege rendered the position of Paskevitch and 
Gortchakoff very embarrassing. It was immedi- 
ately after this failure at Silistria, that the Turks 



OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCHA AND AT SILISTRIA : 1853-4. 



61 



crossed the Danube, and fought the battle of 
Giurgevo, as already narrated. Omar Pacha 
crossed the Danube when the last Russian soldier 
had left the neighbourhood of Silistria ; and the 
battle of Giurgevo was only one among many 
conflicts which then occurred in Wallachia. 

The two extreme points in the Russian line of 
operations Lesser "Wallachia on the west, and the 
Dobrudscha on the east were necessarily affected 
by the turn which affairs were taking at Silistria. 
By degrees, Krajova, Radovan, Ternova, Karakal, 
and Slatina, were abandoned in the one ; and 
Rassova, Hirsova, Matchin, Isakcha, and Tultcha, 
in the other : one Russian army retired through 
Upper Wallachia towards Bucharest ; and a 
second re-crossed the Danube at various points 
into "Wallachia, Moldavia, and Bessarabia. 

The Danubian shores became an unfitting 
locality for the Russians by the end of July. The 
siege of Silistria raised, Giurgevo and its island 
abandoned, both banks of the river near that town 
held in great force by Omar Pacha Gortchakoff 
found his position at Bucharest untenable, at a 
distance of only thirty-five miles from Giurgevo. 
The Russian general made a virtue of necessity : 
he issued a proclamation to the inhabitants, telling 
them that the all-puissant czar had ordered the 
troops to quit the unhealthy regions of the Danube 
for a brief season ; but promised to return and 
deliver them from the barbarian Turks, as soon as 
a more healthy time arrived. He left the city 
with his army on the 28th of July ; and on the 8th 
of August, the Turks entered it with colours flying, 
drums beating, and trumpets sounding. Christians 
as the Wallachians are, they had tasted the bitters 
of Muscovite ' occupation ' so keenly, that they 
welcomed the Mussulman Turks as being less 
objectionable than the Christian Russians. Halim 
Pacha issued a proclamation to the inhabitants, 
running thus : ' Inhabitants of Bucharest ! the 
troops of your sovereign have entered this city to 
maintain good order, and the respect due to all 
established authority. Let no one presume to take 
the initiative in committing any violence tending 
to produce any change whatever. At the moment 
of their retreat, the Russian troops confided to our 
care the sick, whose weak state did not permit 
their removal. We will shew that we are worthy 
of this confidence, and that, until such time as our 
hospitals shall be established in this city, they shall 
be treated in the houses where they now are, with all 
the anxious attention demanded by the love of our 
neighbour, and by humanity ; for two empires, 
enemies at this moment, may be friends to-morrow, 
and ought to respect each other even amidst the 
horrors of war. Such are our wishes ; the Walla- 
chians, by conforming to them, will prove the 
gratitude and respect they owe to their all-power- 
ful sovereign.' Whether thig document had been 
peculiarly worded to suit the position and tastes of 
the Moldo-Wallachians, certain it is that a spirit of 
enlarged liberality and charity is manifested in it, 
for which we should search in vain in any of the 



Russian proclamations, high-flown as they may be. 
The Moslem has not much to learn from the 
Muscovite in this matter. 

The present Chapter has been purposely kept 
free from the intricacies of diplomacy, because it 
has had to deal with the stern events of actual 
war. But there was one ambassadorial proceeding 
which must not be left unnoticed exercising, as it 
unquestionably did, a marked influence on the 
close of the campaign. This was the treaty 
between Turkey and Austria. Without previous 
concert with England and France, the Porte con- 
cluded a treaty with the court of Vienna a treaty 
which, fair on the surface, was much canvassed 
afterwards. By this treaty, Austria undertook to 
occupy the Principalities as against Russia : it was 
signed on 14th June, and runs thus : 

' His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, fully recog- 
nising that the existence of the Ottoman Empire within 
its present limits is necessary for the maintenance of 
the balance of power between the States of Europe, 
and that, specifically, the evacuation of the Danubian 
Principalities is one of the essential conditions of the 
integrity of that empire ; being, moreover, ready to 
join, with the means at his disposal, in the measures 
proper to insure the object of the agreement established 
between his Cabinet and the High Courts represented 
at the Conference of Vienna ; 

His Imperial Majesty the Sultan having on his side 
accepted this offer of concert, made in a friendly manner 
by His Majesty the Emperor of Austria ; 

It has seemed proper to conclude a Convention, in 
order to regulate the manner in which the concert in 
question shall be carried into effect.' 

Then, after two or three merely formal para- 
graphs, the articles of the treaty run thus : 

'ART. I. His Majesty the Emperor of Austria 
engages to exhaust all the means of negotiation, and all 
other means, to obtain the evacuation of the Danubian 
Principalities by the foreign army which occupies them, 
and even to employ, in case they are required, the 
number of troops necessary to attain this end. 

ART. II. It will appertain in this case exclusively 
to the Imperial Commander-in-chief to direct the 
operations of his army. He will, however, always take 
care to inform the Commander-in-chief of the Ottoman 
army of his operations in proper time. 

ART. III. His Majesty the Emperor of Austria 
undertakes, by common agreement with the Ottoman 
Government, to re-establish in the Principalities, as far 
as possible, the legal state of things such as it results 
from the privileges secured by the Sublime Porte in 
regard to the administration of those countries. The 
local authorities thus reconstituted, shall not, however, 
extend their action so far as to attempt to exercise 
control over the Imperial army. 

ART. IV. The Imperial Court of Austria further 
engages not to enter into any plan of accommodation 
with the Imperial Court of Eussia which has not for its 
basis the sovereign rights of His Imperial Majesty the 
Sultan, as well as the integrity of his Empire. 

ART. V. As soon as the object of the present Con- 
vention shall have been obtained by the conclusion of a 
Treaty of Peace between the Sublime Porte and the 
Court of Russia, His Majesty the Emperor of Austria 
will immediately make arrangements for withdrawing 
his forces with the least possible delay from the 
territory of the Principalities. The details respecting 
the retreat of the Austrian troops shall form the 



52 



CAMPAIGN ON TUB DANUBE. 



object of a special understanding with the Sublime 
Porte. 

AUT. VI. The Austrian Government expects that 
the authorities of the countries temporarily occupied 
by the Imperial troops will afford them every assistance 
and facility, as well for their march, their lodging or 
encampment, as for their subsistence and that of their 
horses, and for their communications. The Austrian 
Government likewise expects that every demand relating 
ID the requirements of the service shall be complied 
with, which shall be addressed by the Austrian com- 
manders, either 'to the Ottoman Government through 
tin.- Imperial Intcrnunciatc at Constantinople, or directly 
to the local authorities, unless more weighty reasons 
render the execution of them impossible. 



It is understood that the commanders of the Imperial 
army will provide for the maintenance of the strictest 
discipline among their troops, .and will respect, and 
cause to be respected, the properties as well as the 
laws, the religion, and the customs of the country. 

AUT. VII. The present Convention shall be ratified, 
and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Vienna in 
the space of four weeks, or earlier if possible, dating 
from the day of its signature. 

In faith of which the respective Plenipotentiaries 
have signed it, and set their seals to it. 

Done in duplicate, for one and the same effect, at 
Boyadji-Keuy, the fourteenth of June, one thousand 
eight hundred and fifty-four. 

(L.S.) V. BKUCK. (L.S.) RESHID.' 







BUCHAREST. 



It belongs not to the present chapter to touch 
upon the complaints which the Moldo-Wallachians, 
Avith too much justice, made at a subsequent 
period, concerning the mode in which the Austrians 
conducted themselves during this occupancy. The 
occupancy itself, as a historical event, simply 
offers itself for notice here. An Austrian force 
was placed under the command of Count Coronini ; 
and this force crossed the Carpathians from 
Transylvania into Wallachia on the 20th of August. 
The Austrians entered Bucharest on the 6th of 
September. Coming, as they did, as the allies 
and defenders of Turkey, arrangements were made 
to afford them a kind of triumphant entry. Omar 
Pacha, with a Turkish division and a detachment 
of Wallachian militia, went out at the principal 
gate of the city ; near which were assembled the 
members of the administration, several of the 
1 invars or nobles, a large number of priests of 
the Greek and Latin churches, and a vast con- 



course of people. Count Coronini was then 
conducted in form into the city, at the head of 
his army. Dervish Pacha, Ottoman commissioner 
in Wallachia, issued the following proclamation, 
explanatory of the objects for which the Austrians 
had entered the Principalities : ' The Sublime 
Porte having entered into a convention with his 
Imperial Apostolic Majesty, as previously with the 
governments of France and England, it is my duty 
to make known to you, that in accordance with 
that convention, the Imperial Austrian troops will 
provisionally occupy both Principalities. The 
presence of these troops in Wallachia need cause 
no uneasiness to you, for they enter the country 
as one of the friendly powers allied with the 
Sublime Porte. These troops will be in noway 
a burden to you, for they will pay for everything 
purchased with ready money. After the Russians 
have positively evacuated the Principalities, the 
former government of the country will be restored. 



OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCHA AND AT SILISTRIA : 1853-4. 



Your ancient privileges are and will be scrupulously 
preserved.' 

These unfortunate Principalities ! Turned over 
to the 'protection' of different powers in succession ; 
overrun with the armies of Turkey, Russia, and 
Austria, as the fluctuations of diplomacy or war 
may determine ; controlled now by the Moslem 
creed, now by the adherents of the Greek Church, 
now by the believers in Latin Christianity ; deprived 
of the exercise of manly spirit, which self-depend- 
ence and self-government afford the inhabitants 
of Wallachia and Moldavia are seldom allowed 
long to remain at peace. In 1849, a Russian army 
and a Turkish army were watching each other's 
movements here ; the Wallachians having to feed 
both. In 1853, the Russians unceremoniously 
walked into their houses, reaped their corn, took 
their cattle. When the Turks drove out the Rus- 
sians in 1854, Wallachian corn and cattle had to feed 
the Osmanlis ; and when the Austrians succeeded 
the Turks, still were the inhabitants of the Prin- 
cipalities made to feel that they could only be 
nominally their own masters. The provinces are 
on the confines of three great empires ; and hence 
these experiences. Ivan Golovin speaks strongly 
on this point : ' If there be a wretched people, it 
is the Moldo-Wallachian people, partitioned into 
three like Poland and like Armenia. The Bukovina 
belongs to Austria, Bessarabia to Russia, and 
Moldavia and Wallachia to Turkey. The Russian 
spirit has already penetrated into the admini- 
stration of the Principalities. The construction 
and repair of roads, the magazines of corn, the 
recruitment, and the law, are only so many 
means of venality for the officials. The extra- 
ordinary taxes already exceed the legal obliga- 
tions ; the expenses exceed the receipts ; and 
the Russian decorations and titles serve to foster 
servility.'* This is an anti-Russian account: the 
Moldo-Wallachians could probably bring forth 
grievances anti-Turkish and anti- Austrian. 

The best mode of dealing with these provinces has 
occupied much attention on the part of the several 
courts of Europe. About a year after the signing 
of the Treaty of Boyadji-Keuy, between Austria 
and Turkey, Lord Palmerston, in reply to a sug- 
gestion that the Principalities should be declared 
neutral, said : ' I am not disposed to attach any 
great importance to this proposition. In the first 
place, whenever a quarrel has arisen, and when it 
became desirable for the belligerent powers to 
possess the neutral territory, that neutrality has 
never been very religiously respected. Besides, are 
the Principalities, if declared neutral, to be con- 
tinued as a portion of the Ottoman Empire ? If 
they are not, then they would soon share the fate 
of Poland ; if they are, then the moment hostilities 
break out, Russia Avould cease to respect their 
neutrality ; for Avar dissolves all treaties.' This 
seems rather a fatal dilemma for the Moldo- 
Wallachians. Ilis lordship, however, proceeded as 

* Tlic Nations of Russia and Turkey, p. 46. 



follows : ' But the interests of the Principalities 
have not been neglected. It has been proposed 
to put them under the protection of the Five 
Powers, and to establish a system of internal 
defence ; a force would thus be established which, 
if not at once sufficient to resist a Russian inva- 
sion, would supply the foundation for a national 
defence.' * 

There are peculiarities in the Principalities which 
offer many inducements to speculate on their 
future fortune. The inhabitants are neither 
Russians nor Turks, neither Slavons nor Magyars ; 
they are descendants of the ancient Dacians, who 
intermarried with Roman colonists established by 
Trajan. They have a sufficiency of Roman blood 
in them to obtain the national designation of 
Romani or Roumani or Daco-Romans, although 
more usually called Wallacks ; and their language 
contains many words of Latin origin. Their 
country, in past ages, comprised not only Wallachia 
and Moldavia ; but Bessarabia, now Russian ; the 
Bttckowine or Bukovina, Transylvania, and the 
Banat, now Austrian ; and Bulgaria, now Turkish. 
Unfortunately, Dacia, if we give this name to the 
whole country, lay in the route of the fierce tribes 
who entered Western Europe from Asia Goths, 
Huns, Avars, Bulgars, Scythians, all desolated 
those fertile plains in turn. After many disloca- 
tions and curtailments of territory, the nation 
settled down into two independent princedoms or 
hospodarates Wallachia and Moldavia. Four 
centuries ago, they were so far conquered by the 
Osmanlis as to become tributary states ; but only 
to the extent of paying an annual sum of money 
to the sultan. About a century and a half ago, 
the Moldo-Wallachians were deprived of the 
power of choosing their own princes : the Porte 
usually granting that dignity to some Greek who 
would pay highly for the honour, and Avho took 
care to reimburse himself by the most grinding 
exactions on the people. In other matters, the 
Porte does not appear to have ill used the Moldo- 
Wallachians ; but there was here quite sufficient 
to tempt the czars and czarinas to interfere. 
Reign after reign has increased the power of 
Russia in the Principalities, until both national 
independence and Turkish supremacy have nearly 
disappeared. The events of 1854 developed many 
schemes for restoring the nationality of this people, 
who, in the various provinces above named, 
amount in all to nearly 10,000,000 souls. A map 
of ' Europe as it will be ' appeared about that time, 
in which, among other liberties taken with our 
familiar political geography, a new state is laid 
down under the title of Rumania, containing such 
provinces of three empires as arc inhabited by the 
Daco-Romans or Wallacks or Roumani. In view of 
the complicated relations of European politics, the 
English premier could scarcely hold out encourage- 
ment to any such development of ' nationalities ' 
in those regions. 

* Speech in the House of Commons, June 8, 1855. 



54 



CAMPAIGN ON THE DANUBE. 



That Bucharest (Bukhorest), the capital of Wal- 
lachia, should present many of the strange diversi- 
ties occasioned by these conflicting nationalities, 
might reasonably be expected. Jassy, the capital 
of Moldavia, is a much less important place : if 
' Rumania ' be ever formed, Bucharest will doubt- 
less be its metropolis. Bucharest is a medley of 
nations, among whom Russians, or Greeks in 
Russian interest, contrive to hold the upper place. 
Considered as a town, it contains the hospodar's 
palace, the residences of the boyars or feudal 
nobles, the metropolitan church, about sixty other 
churches, about twenty monasteries and con- 
vents, Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches, a 
Jewish synagogue, a large bazaar, several hospitals 
and infirmaries, a lyceum or university, and several 
consular residences. Regarded as the residence of 
the prince or hospodar of Wallachia, the seat of 
the divan or council, the see of an archbishop, and 
the head-quarters of the foreign envoys or consuls, 
Bucharest might be expected to present the aspect 
of a fine town ; yet the bulk of the 50,000 or 
60,000 inhabitants live in a heap of wretched brick 
or mud cabins, ranged -along lines of streets either 
unpaved or covered with trunks of oaks. The 
town contains an immense number of coffee- 
houses, almost every one of which has a gambling 
or billiard table. The inhabitants are fond of 
outward display, and of public festivals, drinking, 
music, and dancing ; and when assembled on their 
favourite Corso, or public mall, their dress and 
appearance present a singular admixture of the 
European and the Oriental. Bucharest has been 
somewhat hastily set down as ' the most dissolute 
town in the world ;' but those who know Wal- 
lachia best, assert that the immorality is mostly 
among the extra-national or Russian employes ; 
that the native inhabitants would fairly stand 
comparison in this respect with those of more 
western cities. 

Reverting to the Danubian campaign the last 
scene now approached. The Austrians entered 
Bucharest on the 6th of September ; and the rear 
corps of the Russians recrossed the Pruth into 
their own dominions about the middle of the same 
month. 

This campaign, as the course of the present 
chapter will have sufficiently shewn, redounds 
solely to the credit of the Turks. The knowledge 
that the English and French forces were not 
far removed, undoubtedly affected the Russian 
plans as summer approached; and the Austrian 
intervention precipitated the retreat of the 
Russians; but the Turks formed their own 
strategy selected, in most cases, their own battle- 
fieldsfought their own battles and certainly 
achieved more victories than their opponents, 
albeit inferior in numbers. 

Sir George Larpent, writing his volumes about 
the time when the Danubian campaign ended, 
thus comments on it: 'Omar Pacha has most 
brilliantly refuted the croaking predictions of the 
friends of Russia. His position, from the Black 



Sea to the Austrian frontier, has gained the appro- 
bation of all military men. How correctly he 
judged when he selected Little "Wallachia as the 
point of attack, and made Kalafat the tete de pont 
of Widdin, is proved by the desperate exertions 
made by the Russians to regain this position. 
There is a certain touchstone, by which it can be 
discovered which of two commanders is superior in 
talent : it is the one who, through his operations, 
undertakes the management of the war, and forces 
his opponent to follow his movements. Omar 
Pacha has undoubtedly acted this part. In another 
point he has also shewn his superiority : he has 
never suffered himself to be deceived by pretended 
attacks, which was frequently the case on the 
Russian side, more especially when Omar Pacha 
intended to take up his permanent position at 
Kalafat, and crossed the Danube and attacked the 
Russians at other points; so that they neglected 
the position which it was so important to their 
clever opponent to obtain. In addition to this, 
his management of the war is based on a very 
correct estimate of what the troops on either side 
are able to do. He chooses those modes of fighting 
in which the Turks are superior to the Russians. 
The Turkish soldier is a good tirailleur, which 
the Russian never learns, for he is nothing but a 
machine. The Turkish soldier defends walls and 
intrenchments with a love of the sport, in which 
he is only probably surpassed by the Spaniards ; 
while the Russian is perfectly helpless in an 
attack on strong places. In accordance with these 
qualities of the opposed troops, Omar Pacha regu- 
lates his plan of campaign, carries on an interrupted 
little war, and intrenches himself when larger 
bodies are marched against him.'* This language 
is in some parts perhaps exaggerated ; but never- 
theless the fact is certain, that the Russians fight 
best in masses, while the Turks prefer those more 
detailed tactics in which each soldier feels the 
value of his own individual exertions towards 
the attainment of the one common end. This 
quality is in some degree expressed by the French 
military term tirailleur. 

Kalafat and Silistria will ever be ranked as 
the chief memorials of the Danubian campaign 
in 1853-4. Oltenitza and Giurgevo brought a 
share of honour to the Turks, and the Russians 
had a few gleams of success in the Dobrudscha ; 
but the defence of Kalafat and Silistria shewed 
sufficiently that the Osmanli is not yet utterly 
effete in presence of the Muscovite. 

The operations of this campaign have also 
attracted much attention in connection with the 
relative merits of earthwork and masonry in 
fortifications ; and it is believed that subsequent 
operations in the war were based on the experience 
hence derived. The battle of Oltenitza has been 
characterised as one fought quite as much with 
the spade as the musket : it shewed how important 
to raw troops even the slightest breast-work 

* Turkey : its History and Progress, ii. 330. 



OPERATIONS IN THE DOBRUDSCHA AND AT SILISTRIA : 1853-4. 



55 



is, when they are called upon to resist the dis- 
ciplined masses of a regular army. When the 
Turks crossed the Danube, they began immediately 
to trench or defend themselves by mounds of 
earthwork ; and behind these defences they resisted 
every attack which the Russians could bring against 
them. Again, at Kalafat; the Turks so quickly 
and so effectually threw up defences of earthwork, 
that all attempts of the Russians to overcome the 
resistance were frustrated ; and any passage across 
the Danube into the western parts of Bulgaria 
was rendered abortive by this one work ; for the 
Russians dared not leave in their rear a place so 
defended. Again, at Silistria ; the defence was 
essentially an affair of earthworks, supported by the 
heroic courage of a small body of men. The tabias 
were field-works on elevated spots commanding 



the town ; they consisted of trenches, ditches, and 
parapets, all formed by the spade, and mounted 
with cannon. It was these simple earthworks 
which the Russians so long and fiercely attacked, 
and which the Turks so pertinaciously and success- 
fully defended. When the Russians found they 
could effect nothing by assault, they mined under- 
neath ; but the Turks, listening attentively to the 
miners, abandoned the front works, and hastily 
threw up new works in the rear ; whereby the 
Russians, when their mines were exploded, found 
that the Turks were beyond reach, and that the 
work had to be commenced de novo. The calcu- 
lations of the Russian engineers were repeatedly 
overturned ; and the Turkish defence of Silistria 
has almost assumed the rank of a new discovery 
or invention in the art of war. 




Wullachian Peasantry. 



CHAPTER III. 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 




NVOLVING as it did different 
nations in hostilities, and appealing 
to the honour and interests of those 
nations on different grounds, the 
war grew in magnitude as time 
advanced. At first, it appeared 
little else than a dispute on a 
trifling question at Jerusalem ; then 
it extended to exciting discussions and 
hostile threats at Constantinople ; then it 
amplified into formidable battles and desperate 
sieges on the banks of the Danube ; and finally it 
drew into its vortex the Western Powers England 
with her powerful navy, France with her magnifi- 
cent army. So important is it, to a due compre- 
hension of the rationale of the war, to know the 
exact grounds whereon England and France were 
impelled into a conflict which cost them millions 
of treasure and thousands of lives, that it will be 
necessary here to enter somewhat fully on this 
matter, before tracing the advance of the British 
and French armies to Gallipoli and Varna. Clear- 
ness of arrangement will be obtained by noticing 
in succession the diplomacy of the statesmen and 
ambassadors, the celebrated ' Secret Correspond- 
ence,' and the actual declaration of war, with its 
accompanying proceedings. 



DIPLOMACY OF 1853: THE ATTACK 
AT S I N O P E. 

It was the policy of England to remain neutral 
in respect to the question of the Holy Places ; 
peacefully advising all parties, but claiming no 
right of interference. When, however, the de- 
mands made at Constantinople became imperious ; 
and when Sir II. Seymour obtained unquestionable 
proofs, from his position as British ambassador 
at St Petersburg, that the Emperor Nicholas was 
pouring down vast bodies of troops towards the 
Turkish frontier then did the British government 
feel that this neutrality must have an end. 
England was bound by treaties which she could 
not suffer to fall into oblivion at such a time. 

When Lord Stratford de Redcliffe returned to 
his embassy at Constantinople, in April 1853, he 
was struck with the fact that Prince Menchikoff 



disliked to be questioned concerning any ulterior 
designs of Russia, after the difficulty of the Holy 
Places should have been settled; and this made 
the ambassador fear that those designs might 
be perilous to the welfare of Turkey. Baron 
Brunnow, on May -J4, sent a long document to 
the Earl of Clarendon, justifying everything the 
emperor had done, and denying the allegations 
concerning any ulterior views. The earl, never- 
theless, on hearing of the threatening departure 
of Menchikoff from Constantinople, wrote to Lord 
Sti-atford dc Redcliffe on the 31st May, empower- 
ing him to order up the British fleet from Malta 
towards the Dardanelles, there to be employed 
as his judgment might suggest. ' A declaration of 
war by Russia against Turkey,' said his lordship, 
'the embarkation of troops at Sebastopol, or any 
other well-established fact denoting intentions of 
unmistakable hostility, would, in the opinion of 
her majesty's government, entirely justify your 
excellency in sending for the fleet, which, however, 
would not pass the Dardanelles except on the 
express demand of the sultan.' 

This ' passing of the Dardanelles ' has been 
intertwined in all the diplomacy respecting Turkey 
for many generations past. It means this that as 
Turkey possesses both the European and the 
Asiatic sides of the Dardanelles and tbe Bosphorus, 
she commands the entrances through those straits 
into the Black Sea ; and, for her own protection, 
she has always insisted that no ships of war shall 
pass through those straits without her permission. 
In 1840, when the sultan was threatened by his 
rebellious vassal, Mehemet Ali, he placed the 
Dardanelles and the Bosphorus under the joint 
'protection' an ominous word of England, 
France, Russia, Austria, and Prussia ; but in the 
convention of the 15th of July in that year, he 
expressly stipulated, in Article IV., for the mainte- 
nance of his ancient rights over the straits. Turkey 
claimed, and the five powers agreed, that this 
protection ' shall be considered only as a measure 
of exception, adopted at the express demand of the 
sultan, and solely for his defence in the single case 
above mentioned ; but it is agreed, that such 
measure shall not derogate in any degree from 
the ancient rule of the Ottoman Empire, in virtue 
of which it has iu all times been prohibited for 



DIPLOMACY OP 1853: THE ATTACK AT SINOPK 



ships of war of foreign powers to enter the straits 
of the Dardanelles and of the Bosphorus.' Again, in 
a convention signed at London on the 13th of July 
1841, between the representatives of the six powers, 
it was demanded by the sultan that his right 
should be admitted, of prohibiting the passage of 
ships of war through the straits ; and this right 
was formally conceded by England, France, Russia, 
Austria, and Prussia. 

During the month of May (1853), it was ascer- 
tained, by diplomatic correspondence, that Austria 
and Prussia, as well as England and France, agreed 
that Russia's demands upon Turkey were indefen- 
sible, and could not be submitted to without injury 
to the Ottoman authority. So far there was 
agreement ; but the almost interminable negotia- 
tion which followed, shewed that there was not so 
much unity of opinion concerning the course to be 
adopted towards Russia. In June, the French 
government sent orders to their fleet, under 
Admiral de la Susse, to join the English fleet, under 
Admiral Dundas, at Besika Bay immediately 
outside or southward of the Dardanelles there to 
await further orders from the two ambassadors at 
Constantinople. One circumstance presents itself 
to view throughout the voluminous correspondence 
of that summer and autumn that all the ministers 
and all the ambassadors of England, France, 
Austria, and Prussia, so far as their opinions found 
expression in dispatches, condemned the conduct 
of the czar in picking a new quarrel with Turkey 
after the question of the ' Holy Places ' had been 
settled. Clarendon, Stratford de Redcliffe, West- 
moreland, Cowley, Bloomfield, Seymour, Drouyn 
de Lhuj's, Walewski, De la Cour, Buol, Colloredo, 
Manteuffel, however they may have differed as to 
the means of healing the wound, agreed as to the 
wound itself. This was important ; for it amounted 
nearly to a vote passed by united Europe against 
Nicholas, and weakened his power of appealing to 
any of his neighbours against the rest. 

On the 12th of June, the Russian government 
published a circular addressed to all its ministers 
at foreign courts, explanatory of the reasons which 
had actuated the czar in his proceedings. This 
circular elicited many replies and counter-state- 
ments ; and England and France became more 
and more decided in their reprobation of the 
Russian schemes. Just about the time when 
Russia advanced to the Principalities, Austria 
concentrated troops near the Servian frontier ; 
and this circumstance for a time excited uneasi- 
ness ; but no further progress was made in that 
direction, and Austria continued to act with the 
"Western Powers in an endeavour to obviate war 
by diplomatic means. In July, the first of many 
' Conferences ' met at Vienna, attended by the 
representatives of England, ^France, Austria, and 
Prussia ; these representatives proposed, with the 
sanction of their respective governments, to prepare 
a ' note,' or schedule of agreement, which should be 
sent to St Petersburg and Constantinople ; and 
that the four powers should use their best energies 



to obtain the assent of the two belligerent powers 
to the terms therein imposed. Another confer- 
ence on the same subject was held towards the 
close of the same month, during which the terms 
of the proposed note were determined on. This 
note, as drawn up on the 26th of July, and as 
transmitted to Constantinople, assumed the form 
of a declaration from the sultan to the czar. The 
sultan, after expressing his ' unbounded confidence 
in the eminent qualities of his august friend and 
ally,' declared that he ' will remain faithful to the 
letter and to the spirit of the Treaties of Kainardji 
and Adrianople relative to the protection of the 
Christian religion ; and that his majesty considers 
himself bound in honour to cause to be observed 
for ever, and to preserve from all prejudice, either 
now or hereafter, the enjoyment of the spiritual 
privileges which have been granted by his majesty's 
august ancestors to the orthodox Eastern Church, 
and which are maintained and confirmed by him ; 
and moreover, in a spirit of exalted equity, to cause 
the Greek rite to share in the advantages granted 
to the other Christian rites by convention or 
special arrangement.' There were comprised in 
the note, also, a few minor declarations respecting 
pilgrims at Jerusalem, a Russian church and 
hospital in or near the same city, and an increase 
of power to the Russian consuls in Palestine. 

This ' Vienna Note' the first of that name was 
the main subject of European diplomacy during the 
latter half of 1853. The reader will remember that, 
in a former page, reference was made to the note, 
as exemplifying the importance of attending to the 
phraseology of any documents to which Russia is a 
party. The Turkish ministers saw that whether 
the note had or had not been drawn up with the 
connivance of Russia it was worded in such a 
way as might leave an opening for a Russian 
interpretation injurious to Turkey at some future 
time. More than once has it occurred, in the past 
relations of Russia with other countries, that if 
two or three short words were susceptible of a 
double meaning, or two or three apparently insig- 
nificant words omitted, a claim of startling import 
was afterwards founded, to which the other con- 
tracting party had not originally intended to assent. 
In the case now under notice, the czar, early in 
August, accepted the Vienna Note with a promptness 
which was in itself suspicious ; and later in the 
same month, the sultan signified also his acceptance, 
but with the ' modification ' of a few words. This 
modification was to define the meaning of terms 
otherwise too undefined ; but, nevertheless, it proved 
to be the 1'ock on which the whole negotiation split. 
The Allies were willing to accept the amendments 
made by Turkey, and even acknowledged that 
those amendments were just in themselves, how- 
ever lamentable it might be that peace should be 
disturbed by small changes. But the czar refused 
his assent ; and this refusal offers much justification 
to the conduct of Turkey, since it shews that the 
czar regarded the altered words as important in 
the very sense that Turkey had suspected. There 



68 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



were only two paragraphs of the Vienna Note thus 
altered, and altered in only three places ; and it 
may be desirable to transcribe them here, if only 
to s'hew how mighty are the political results which 
sometimes spring from the turn of an expression. 
Of the six paragraphs of the Vienna Note, the 
most important were the two following : 

' If the Emperors of Russia have at all times 
evinced their active solicitude for the maintenance 
of the immunities and privileges of the orthodox Greek 
Church in the Ottoman Empire, the Sultans have never 
refused again to confirm them * by solemn acts 
testifying their ancient and constant benevolence 
towards their. Christian subjects. 

'The undersigned has in consequence received 
orders to declare by the present note, that the 
Government of His Majesty the Sultan will remain 
faithful to the letter and to the spirit of the Treaties 
of Kainardji and AdrianopU relative to the pro- 
tection of the Christian religion, and t that His 
Majesty considers himself bound in honour to 
cause to be observed for ever, and to preserve from 
all prejudice, either now or hereafter, the enjoy- 
ment of the spiritual privileges which have been 
granted by His Majesty's august ancestors to the 
orthodox Eastern Church, which are maintained 
and confirmed by him ; and moreover, in a spirit 
of exalted equity, to cause the Greek rite to share 
in the advantages granted to the other Christian 
rites by convention or special arrangement': 'J 

Turkey proposed to substitute for the words 
printed in italics, those given in the foot-notes ; 
and the rejection of these substitutions by Russia 
rendered ineffectual all the subsequent labours of 
the diplomatists. It will be seen, on carefully 
perusing the above, that the pith of the amend- 
ments consists in the declaration, that the Porte 
will both concede and protect, in respect to the 
Christians of Turkey ; whereas the original clauses 
would have afforded a loophole for the czar to 
enter in his assumed capacity as 'protector of 
Greek worship.' Protection to Greek Christians 
might be well ; but protection by the czar was the 
point yearned for by Russia. 

September approached ; a month during which 
Besika Bay and its vicinity become dangerous for 
shipping lying at anchor. The Allied governments 
were exceedingly urgent that Turkey and Russia 
should arrive at an amicable conclusion, in order 
that the fleets might be withdrawn to safer 
quarters ; but, pending the negotiations, such 
withdrawal would not be expedient. France pro- 
posed that the fleets should enter the Dardanelles, 
with the consent of Turkey; but England proposed 
a further delay, to afford the czar time to signify 

* the orthodox Greek Church and worship, the Sultans have 
never ceased to provide for the maintenance of the privileges and 
immunities which at different times they have spontaneously 
granted to that religion and to that church in the Ottoman 
tmpire, and to confirm them ' 

r to the stipulations of the Treaty of Kainardji, confirmed by 
S'lv ^ dn . an .P le relative to the protection by the Sublime Porte 
the Christian religion ; and he is moreover charged to make 
known' 

~3S&! which 1Jj* ht }* &tl| to the other Christian 
communities, Ottoman subjects.' 



his assent to the altered terms of the Vienna Note. 
But this assent was never given. The court of 
St Petersburg stated in writing the reasons why 
Russia could not accept the amended note ; and the 
Earl of Clarendon promptly pointed out that the 
reasons thus assigned were such as to justify Turkey 
in the suspicions which the original note had 
excited ; that, in fact, ' it would not be fair to 
urge the Porte to sign a document which would 
give Russia such advantages as it was now clear 
the Russian government expected from it.'* It 
was, indeed, throughout, a most unfortunate 
achievement in diplomacy, and seems to indicate 
that a pro-Russian pen had traced the terms of the 
Vienna Note ; for the Earl of Clarendon, after stating 
the sense in which England and France understood 
the original note, declared that it would now be 
' highly dishonourable to press its acceptance on 
the Porte, when they have been duly warned by 
the power to whom the note is to be addressed 
that another and a totally different meaning is 
attached to it by that power' (p. 124). 

The mouth of October brought the first ominous 
reference to possible collisions in the Black Sea 
between the several fleets. Admiral Dundas received 
orders to inform the Russian admiral commanding 
at Sebastopol, 'that if the Russian fleet should 
come out of that port for the purpose of landing 
troops on any portion of the Turkish territory, or 
of committing any act of overt hostility against 
the Porte, his (Admiral Dundas's) orders are 
to protect the sultan's dominions from attack.' 
The English government became more and more 
distrustful of Russia : they declined to urge Turkey 
to accept the Vienna Note; they declined to 
accede to a new note prepared at Olmiitz by 
Austria; and they now refused to permit Russian 
ships of Avar to roam over the Black Sea. 
Turkey declared war early in the month ; and the 
Allied fleets soon afterwards passed through the 
Dardanelles. Vain attempts were made at further 
agreements. The original Vienna note had been 
rejected by Turkey; the amended note had been 
rejected by Russia; the Olmiitz proposition was 
rejected by England; Lord Stratford de Redcliffe 
prepared a plan, which was rejected by Austria ; 
and now the Earl of Clarendon prepared a plan, 
which was suddenly cut short by the passing of the 
Danube at the end of the month, and the virtual 
commencement of hostilities. The earl issued a 
circular-letter to all the British ministers abroad, 
dated 7th November, in which the imminency of 
approaching war was touched upon. Meanwhile, 
the Russian proceedings in the Dauubian Princi- 
palities had become so audacious, that even the 
Prussian court was alarmed at them. Baron 
Mauteuffel told the British ambassador at Berlin, 
that ' Prince Urusoff (a Russian general) had taken 
the entire government of the province of Moldavia 
into his own hands ; and that his language towards 
the inhabitants was as insulting as his acts were 

* Parliamentary Papers on Eastern Affairs, il. j>. 113. 



DIPLOMACY OF 1853: THE ATTACK AT SINOPE. 



59 



oppressive. On one occasion, some Jews were 
called into his presence; and on his accosting them 
in his customary hard language, they claimed the 
privileges of Austrian subjects ; on which the prince 
ordered them to leave at once for Lemberg.'* 

At length came the terrible news of the battle, or 
rather slaughter, at Sinope, which was effectual, 
more than anything else, in rousing a spirit of 
indignation throughout Western Europe. The 
news reached London and Paris on 1 1th December. 
The two governments were chagrined that such 
a destructive act should have been permitted at 
a time when Turkey was nominally under the 
protection of the English and French fleets. An 



investigation of all the circumstances was made 
by the English ships Retribution and Mogadore, 
sent to Sinope for that purpose immediately after 
the catastrophe ; and the following is the substance 
of the information obtained : 

On 13th November, a Turkish flotilla anchored 
in the Bay of Sinope. This town is on the south 
shore of the Black Sea, 350 miles east of Constan- 
tinople, and 200 miles south-east of Sebastopol. The 
flotilla consisted of seven frigates, three corvettes, 
and two steamers. On the 21st, a Russian squadron 
appeared off the mouth of the bay, reconnoitred 
the Turks, and established a blockade. Some of 
the Turkish officers thought it would be well to 




Battle of Sinope. 



break the blockade, and engage in a running-fight ; 
but Osman Pacha, the commander of the flotilla, 
unfortunately determined to remain at anchor, and 
to await the attack from the Russians. On the 
30th, the Russian squadron, consisting of three 
three-deckers and three two-deckers, under 
Admiral Nachimoff, stood in for the bay under full 
sail before the wind, and took up a position close 
alongside the Turkish ships ; while two frigates 
and three steamers remained outside to cut off the 
retreat of any Turkish vessel attempting to escape. 
Osman Pacha immediately gave the signal for a 
determined and energetic defence. About noon, 
the Russians opened fire, and for an hour or two 
the conflict was fearful. The Namck frigate, 
commanded by Ali Bey, wjien just about being 
boarded by a huge three-decker, was heroically 
blown up by her commander, thereby consigning 
himself and crew to destruction. Some of the 

* Parliamentary Papers, ii. 272. 



Turkish ships were burned by the enemy's red-hot 
shot; others blew up; and the rest, whose sides 
were literally beaten in by the enormous weight 
of the Russian metal, slipped their cables, and 
drifted on shore. The Russians now manned their 
yards, and cheered in honour of their bloody victory, 
if victory it can be called. They then recommenced 
firing upon the helpless wrecks, which still kept 
up a feeble but unyielding resistance, and did not 
cease until the work of ruin and death was achieved. 
Out of the whole Turkish flotilla, one vessel alone 
escaped : this was the steamer Taif, which slipped 
her cable shortly after the commencement of the 
battle, and after forcing her way at some risk 
through the force cruising outside, brought the 
first news of the fatal encounter to Constantinople. 
The land-batteries at Sinope fired in aid of the 
Turks; but the aid was inconsiderable, partly 
because the guns were light, and partly because 
the Turkish ships intervened between the Rus- 
sians and the batteries. The town of Sinope was 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



Navick, 
Nczim, 
Farsli, 
Giillu Sefit, 
Aon Illah, . 

|):i!11JPtt.1, 
Nrdji Kcshir, 
Kaicl, 

Nezemiah, . 
Kai.-u Marbout, 
Ircfdi, 
Taif, 

Total, 



completely destroyed, and the whole coast strewed 
with dead bodies. Of the ships, nothing was left but 
heaps of fragments; and of the crews, only 1500 
remained alive out of 4500. The ships were the 
following : 

Gum. Men. 

52 500 blown up. 

52 , r )00 destroyed. 

S8 400 destroyed. 

21 200 destroyed. 
3(5 400 taken." 

66 500 destroyed. 

24 200 on shore. 

50 600 blown up. 

CO 600 blown up. 

22 210 destroyed. 

4 150 steamer, 150 h. p. destroyed. 
16 300 do. 300 h. p. not engaged. 

434 4490 

Osman Pacha, the commander in the Aon Illah, 
was wounded, then taken prisoner, and afterwards 
died in captivity ; Ali Bey, of the Navick, was 
bloAvn up with his ship ; Hassan Bey was killed 
in the Nezim ; Ali Maher Bey in the Farsli ; 
Sadi Bey in the Gullu Sefit; Hussein Pacha and 
Kadi Bey in the Nezemiah ; and Izet Bey in the 
Faisi Marbout. The Russians themselves suffered 
considerably, through the indomitable courage of 
their antagonists. They are believed to have 
had about 600 large pieces of cannon engaged 
68-pounders,42-pounders, and 32-pounders. Admiral 
Nachimoff returned to Sebastopol before the Allied 
ships reached Sinopc. 

The emperor, willing to catch at every trifle 
which might afford an opportunity for addressing 
his subjects in magniloquent language, sent an 
autograph-letter to Prince Menchikoff, glorifying 
Russia for the victory at Sinope : 



' ST PETERSBURG, ; 



-' 1833. 



The victory of Sinope proves evidently that our 
Black Sea fleet has shewn itself worthy of its destina- 
tion. With hearty joy, I request you to communicate 
to my brave seamen, that I thank them for the success 
of the Russian fl;ig on behalf of the glory find honour of 
Russia. I perceive with satisfaction that Tchesme has 
not been forgotten in the Russian navy, and that the 
grandsons have proved themselves worthy of their 
grandsires. 

I remain, always and unalterably, your well-inclined 
and grateful NICHOLAS.' 

St Petersburg was thrown into an ecstasy of 
delight ; illuminations, balls, festivals, health- 
drinkings, succeeded each other for many days ; 
and the flattie of Sinope was played, with variations 
a la Rtissc, at the theatres. 

It is difficult to mark clearly the difference 
between a fair and an unfair attack during war ; 
but the point at which Russia and the Allies 
diverged in their interpretation of the Sinope catas- 
trophe was as follows : Russia asserted that the 
Turkish flotilla had on board troops and ammuni- 
tion destined to aid rebellious tribes in an attack 
on Secoum-Kale, a Russo-Circassian town on the 
north-east of the Black Sea ; and that Russia 
was justified in destroying the flotilla under such 
circumstances. Turkey and her Allies, on the 
other hand, asserted that the flotilla was only 
charged with provisions for Batoum, a Turkish 



town near the Russian frontier of the Black Sea ; 
and that the destruction of a Turkish flotilla in a 
Turkish harbour was virtually a defiance to the 
Allies, who had undertaken to defend Turkey. 
In the correspondence between the various courts, 
the affair at Sinope was treated by the Allies not 
so much as a breach of the recognised rules of 
honour in w r ar, as a disregard of the efforts of the 
Allies to bring about peace ; but the general 
impression produced in England and France, as 
well as in Turkey, was one of indignation, and 
which unquestionably tended to weaken the efforts 
of the peace-makers. It is indeed undeniable that 
the conflict was rather a slaughter than a fight ; 
for the Russians, departing from the usages of 
civilised Europe, poured forth a burning torrent of 
grape and canister-shot upon the hapless wretches, 
who, escaping from the burning and sinking ships, 
sought to gain the shore. 

The close of the year was marked by the issue 
of circulars from the English and French govern- 
ments to their ministers abroad, narrating the 
proceedings which had taken place, lamenting the 
failure of all attempts to preserve peace, and 
announcing that the Allied fleets would at once 
enter the Black Sea, and assume an attitude that 
would prevent such another calamity as that at 
Sinope. The year 1853 did not pass away, how- 
ever, without one more effort to preserve peace. 
The ambassadors of England, France, Austria, and 
Prussia, at Constantinople, presented to the sultan, 
on the 12th of December, an 'Identic Note,' or 
proposal in which all agreed, containing the basis 
for a settlement of the difficulties between Turkey 
and Russia. The sultan assented to this on the 
31st of December, and proposed that forty days 
should be allowed for the czar to signify his assent ; 
after which all the six powers should confer, at 
Vienna or some other central city, and agree on an 
amicable settlement of the various points at issue. 
All the four powers w r ere satisfied with this accept- 
ance by the sultan, as maintaining the dignity and 
independence of Turkey, while at the same time 
meeting every demand that Russia was entitled to 
make. 

The year 1854 opened amid busy attempts on 
the part of the four powers to obtain the assent of 
Russia to the terms of the Identic Note ; but when 
the Allied fleets actually entered the Black Sea 
which they did on the 4th of January and when 
the c/ar was informed of this fact, his irritation 
rendered him indisposed to accede to peaceful 
diplomacy. An angry correspondence ensued at 
St Petersburg, London, and Paris, between Russia 
on the one side, and England and France on the 
other ; the Identic Note was forgotten or laid 
aside ; and, early in February, the Russian ambas- 
sadors were withdrawn from London and Paris, 
and the English and French ambassadors from 
St Petersburg. 

Between the leading states of Europe, the with- 
drawal of ambassadors is the immediate forerunner 
of war, unless some special intervention occurs. 



THE ' SECRET CORRESPONDENCE ' OF 1844 AND 1853. 



61 



No such intervention presented itself in this case ; 
and thus it arose that the month of March 1854, 
witnessed the formal rupture of peaceful relations 
between England and France on the one hand, and 
Russia on the other on grounds which especially 
concerned Turkey in the first instance, but which 
would have been dangerous to the welfare of 
Europe generally, if the designs of Russia had been 
quietly submitted to. M. Kossuth, in one of his 
speeches made Avhile in America, spoke energeti- 
cally to the effect, that nations cannot with profit 
isolate themselves cannot afford to be selfishly 
indifferent to the assaults of a strong power upon 
a weaker. ' Even your own peculiar interests,' he 
said to his transatlantic auditors, ' are best served 
when your foreign policy rests, not on transitory 
considerations, but on everlasting principles. Even 
in private life, no man can entirely cut himself 
off from others. A man willing to attempt it, 
would be an exile at home : just so with nations, 
which in the larger family of man are individual 
members. In a nation, the consequence of total 
isolation is not felt as soon, but it will at length be 
felt as surely. The hours 'of nations are counted 
by years; yet the secluded nation, self-exiled from 
mankind, dwindles away. Wo to the people 
whose citizens care only for their own present, and 
not for the future of their country ! ' * The exiled 
Magyar had sympathy with Hungary in his 
thoughts when he made this speech; but his 
exhortations apply also to the case of Turkey, as 
oppressed by Russia. At one time, most of the 
nations of Europe had to rise to stem the claim 
of Turkey for almost universal dominion ; then 
against Spain ; then France ; and in 1854, the time 
seemed to have arrived when something similar 
must be effected against Russia, and for similar 
reasons. 

Thus, then, were all the labours of European 
statesmen and ambassadors rendered of non-effect. 
The Vienna Note, the amended note, the Identic 
Note, the protocols, the proceedings at the con- 
ferences, the dispatches documents which fill 
many hundred folio pages of close print were 
fruitless, in so far as regarded the maintenance of 
peace between Russia and the Western Powers. 



THE 'SECRET CORRESPONDENCE' OP 
1844 AND 1853. 

But while these open and avowed negotiations 
were going forward, there was a remarkable 
under-current of 'secret correspondence,' of which 
the world knew nothing until twelve months after 
it occurred ; a correspondence in which two of the 
great powers of Europe interchanged opinions 
without the cognizance of the others. 

The secret correspondence' between the English 
and Russian governments respecting Turkey and 
its future fate, constituted, indeed, a remarkable 

* Speech at Baltimore, December 27, 1851. 



episode in the history of the war. It was complete 
in itself begun, continued, and ended separately 
and distinctly from the acknowledged diplomacy 
of the period. Episode though it be, however, it 
was of grave import ; for it unquestionably encou- 
raged the Emperor Nicholas in the pursuance of 
those schemes which superinduced the war. It 
was grave in another sense, for it exemplified the 
entanglements into which a nation might be 
brought, unknown to and unsanctioned by the 
people, by unacknowledged though well-meant 
diplomacy on the part of its ministers. Not only 
was there a secret correspondence, but another 
involved in it a wheel within a wheel a Chinese 
ball-puzzle translated into English ; for the corre- 
spondence of 1853 involved that of 1844, and both 
were alike unknown to the English parliament and 
the English nation until the spring of 1854. It is 
true that the English diplomatists did not assent to 
any spoliation schemes did not countenance any 
line of conduct which would be injurious to Turkey ; 
but the rejection was worded in such courtly 
phrases, the moral scorn of injustice was so feebly 
expressed, the compliments paid to the czar had 
so much of fulsome flattery in them, that the 
diplomatists afforded a handle which the czar did 
not afterwards fail to apply to his own purposes. 
This correspondence subsequently formed the 
theme of a remarkable article in the Westminster 
Review* under the title of ' International Immo- 
rality ;' in which the writer sought to shew the ill 
consequences which result to nations from a Avant 
of sincerity on the pai-t of diplomatists, a tendency 
on their parts to call things by the wrong names, 
and to adopt crooked means for obtaining that 
which might be a worthy and proper end. 

This correspondence was remarkable also in 
another particular the mode in which it was 
discovered or made public. For aught that can 
now be seen, it might have remained yet many 
more years in the archives of the Foreign Office, 
had not one of the diplomatists made use of lan- 
guage inconsistent with that used by him during 
the correspondence itself. How this lapsus drew 
forth the truth, bit by bit, it will be desirable here 
to shew ; for the episode is of a kind which can best 
be understood by tracing the steps of the discovery, 
and thus, in some sort, travelling backward. Lord 
John Russell, the Journal de St Petersburg, the 
Times, the Earl of Derby, and the Earl of Aberdeen, 
were the instruments whereby the nation became 
conversant with a correspondence which either 
ought not to have taken place at all, or ought to 
have been known much earlier. 

It was on the 17th of February 1854, when 
Mr Layard brought on a discussion iu the House 
of Commons concerning Eastern affairs, that Lord 
John Russell commented in terms of great severity 
on the conduct of the Emperor Nicholas. He said : 
' There were concealment and deception on the 
part of Russia towards the government of this 

* New Series, No. XV. 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



country ; but, while we gave credit to the assurances 
of the- Russian government, we were not blind to 
the possibility that it might be deceiving us.' How 
one party can 'give credit' to another with such a 
proviso, is not easy to see. His lordship expressed 
his belief, that the emperor's object was ' to endea- 
vour in the present year to degrade Turkey still 
more than she has been before degraded, by 
successive wars and treaties on the part of Russia ; 
and it was hoped that by means of force, or of 
o.stly and lavish diplomacy, to obtain terms from 
the sultan which would render him completely 
subject to Russia ; so that, if at any time he should 
attempt to throw off his chains, his prostrate and 
helpless condition would make the conquest of the 
country an easy task. Such I believe to have been 
the policy of Russia.' In respect to the rejection by 
the czar of the Vienna proposals, Lord John said 
that ' the course adopted by the Emperor of Russia 
shewed a total disregard of the peace of Europe, 
an utter contempt of the opinion of Europe, and a 
disregard of those sovereigns with whom he had 
been allied.' The war was characterised as a 
guarantee to mankind of ' the peace of Europe, of 
which the Emperor of Russia is the wanton dis- 
turber; and it is for mankind to throw upon the 
head of that disturber the consequences which he 
has so flagrantly, and, I believe, so imprudently 
evoked. And it is to mankind the independence 
not only of Turkey, but of Germany, and of all 
European nations. The state of Germany for the 
last few years has been one, if not absolutely of 
dependence upon the Emperor of Russia, at least 
one in which independence has not been very 
loudly asserted.' It would be difficult to employ 
language more severe and galling to Russia; and 
as it corresponded with the prevailing opinion in 
England on the subject, the speech was received 
with general favour. 

This speech roused the Russian government. 
No newspapers are free in that country; but the 
Journal de St Petersburg is believed to be employed 
as an organ through which the opinions of the 
government are promulgated in a non-official form. 
On the 2d of March, a leading-article appeared, 
evidently emanating from high quarters, concerning 
Lord John Russell's speech. That speech is charac- 
terised as a 'brutal outrage' against the emperor. 
England, it is asserted, should least of all nations 
misconstrue the emperor's intentions ; for ' the 
emperor had spontaneously explained himself with 
the most perfect candour to the queen and her 
ministers, with the object of establishing with them 
a friendly understanding even upon the most 
important result which can affect the Ottoman 
Empire.' The emperor, foreseeing that Turkey 
must crumble one day, had sought an interchange 
of opinions with England concerning that im- 
pending catastrophe ; and the result shewed itself 
in ' a correspondence of the most friendly character 
between the present English ministers and the 
imperial government.' Finally, after adverting to 
the correspondence as a collection of non-official 



documents, which could not rightly be divulged, 
the newspaper writer advised Lord John Russell 
'to reperuse that correspondence, in which he 
was the first to take part, before ceding to the 
Earl of Clarendon the direction of foreign affairs.* 
Let him consult his conscience, if the passion 
which leads him astray permit him to recognise 
its voice. He can decide now whether it be 
really true that the emperor has been wanting in 
frankness towards the English government.' 

The next link in the chain was furnished by the 
Times that extraordinary journal which knows 
every one's business, dives into every secret, sends 
commissioners to inquire into every abuse, braves 
the anger of governments, parliaments, classes, and 
corporations, and puts forth a flood of articles 
which occupy a place among the highest specimens 
of English composition. On the llth of March, 
an article appeared, commenting on the semi- 
official manifesto from St Petersburg ; and in the 
course of the argument appeared these words : 
' We have not now to learn for the first time that, 
before the Emperor Nicholas entered upon these 
extraordinary transactions, he had attempted at 
various times, and in different forms, to lure almost 
every court in Europe to share in the plunder of 
Turkey. As long ago as his own visit to this 
country, he held the same language, and it may 
have been repeated in greater detail in the course 
of last winter. But what answer did he get to 
these overtures? What answer did he get when he 
sounded Lord John Russell, of all men in the 
world, on the subject of an eventual partition of 
Turkey ] We confidently reply, that he was met 
by an indignant refusal on the part of the British 
government. He was told, if we are not greatly 
mistaken, that this country could entertain no 
proposal in any form which pre-supposed the 
dismemberment of an empire the integrity of 
which we had frequently engaged to respect and 
even to protect.' After further revelations, under 
cover of the words ' if we are not mistaken,' the 
Times ended by saying : ' Lord John Russell's 
answer to the Russian overture will do him no 
dishonour ; and although in time of peace it 
might have been inconvenient to lay bare the 
pretensions Russia has sometimes indicated, our 
present relations are not likely to suffer from an 
" indiscretion " she herself has provoked ; and we 
trust the whole correspondence will be immediately 
produced.' 

The scene changes, and the actors also. On 
the 13th of March, the Earl of Derby, in the House 
of Lords, requested from the Earl of Aberdeen an 
explanation concerning the Russian allegations, 
and concerning the knowledge which the Times 
appeared to have possessed of some secret corre- 
spondence not known to parliament. His lordship 
said : ' This is not the first time, by many, within 
the last few months, that the Times newspaper has 
professed to have, and has proved to be in possession 

* Lord John Russell -was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 
during about three months, from December 1852 to March 1853. 



THE ' SECRET CORRESPONDENCE ' OP 1844 AND 1853. 



63 



of, secret and exclusive information, which ought 
and was supposed to have been known only to the 
cabinet ; also to have possession of, and access to, 
papers and documents refused to both Houses of 
Parliament ; and to be at liberty, and apparently 
authorised, to make public these documents, pre- 
viously refused even to parliament itself. The 
noble earl may disclaim, if he pleases, any com- 
munication, either direct or indirect, with the 
Times newspaper, or that he ever personally in 
any way communicated with that journal ; but 
all his disclaimer cannot persuade me, or any 



other human being, I believe, in the country, that 
the Times newspaper could convey such informa- 
tion, or insert such an article as I have just read 
to the House, without being informed by some 
person who had official information on these 
matters, and one who, in conveying such informa- 
tion, betrayed that which ought to be considered 
as a cabinet secret.' The Earl of Aberdeen, in 
reply, stated that a secret correspondence had 
certainly been carried on between England and 
Russia in the early spring of 1853 ; that this 
correspondence had not been printed, out of 




Coi'NT NESSET.RODE. 



delicacy to the emperor, on so confidential a 
subject ; but that the reference to it in the St 
Petersburg newspaper absolved England from 
further secrecy, and that the correspondence 
should forthwith be presented to the House. The 
earl next stated, that when the Emperor of Russia 
was in England in 1844, many conversations were 
held between the emperor, the earl, the Duke of 
Wellington, and Sir Robert Peel, respecting the 
probable future fate of Turkey ; that Count Nessel- 
rode drew up an account of those conversations ; 
that he the Earl of Aberdeen had not seen 
that document during the intervening ten years ; 
but that it should be sought for, and presented 
to the House. 

Here, then, was a solution of one mystery the 
existence of secret correspondence referring to the 



years 1844 and 1853 ; but another yet remained. 
How had the Times obtained an insight into these 
matters ? The Earl of Aberdeen, the prime-minister 
himself, was wholly and entirely unable to answer 
the question. He had never, he said, either 
directly or indirectly, sanctioned any breach of 
trust in such a matter ; and he could only surmise 
that a junior clerk in the Foreign Office had been 
betrayed into a departure from the strict line of 
duty in this respect. This accusation brought 
about an indignant denial from the person accused ; 
which denial the Earl of Aberdeen felt it incum- 
bent on him to accept. But there the mystery 
remained. The Times assumed a haughty tone ; 
denied that it had bribed any of the underlings of 
office ; claimed the right of determining when and 
how it would make public any early or peculiar 



Gl 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



information possessed by it; and vouchsafed no 
explanation whatever. The peers abandoned 
further search, with a significant reminder by 
tin- Earl of Malmesbury of Sancho Pan/as 
theorem that 'a cask may leak at the top just 
as well as at the bottom.' 

The Secret Correspondence was printed and 
presented to parliament shortly afterwards both 
that of l>H and that of 1853. It appears that 
when the Emperor Nicholas returned to St 
Petersburg, from his visit to London in 1844, he 
put Count Nesselrode in possession of the out- 
lines of the conversations he had had with the 
English statesmen ; and from these outlines a 
document was drawn up, designated a ' Memo- 
randum by Count Nesselrode, delivered to Her 
Majesty's Government, and founded on Commu- 
nications received from the Emperor of Russia 
subsequently to His Imperial Majesty's visit to 
England in June 1844.' 

This memorandum consists of twenty-eight 
paragraphs. Four of these assert that Russia and 
England are interested in the maintenance of 
Turkey as she is ; three relate to a tendency, of 
which Turkey is accused, to evade treaties ; six 
relate to religious difficulties in Turkey ; and then 
comes the important part of the memorandum : 

4 However, they [Russia and England] must not 
conceal from themselves how many elements of disso- 
lution that empire contains within itself. Unforeseen 
circumstances may hasten its fall, without its being in 
the power of the friendly cabinets to prevent it. 

As it is not given to human foresight to settle before- 
hand a plan of action for such or such unlooked-for 
case, it would be premature to discuss eventualities 
which may never be realised. 

In the uncertainty which hovers over the future, a 
single fundamental idea seems to admit of a really 
practical application : it is that the danger which may 
result from a catastrophe in Turkey will be much 
diminished, if, in the event of its occurring, Russia and 
England have come to an understanding as to the 
course to be taken by them in common. 

That understanding will be the more beneficial, 
inasmuch as it will have the full assent of Austria. 
Between her and Russia there exists already an entire 
conformity of principles in regard to the affairs of 
Turkej', in a common interest of conservatism and of 
peace. 

In order to render their union more efficacious, there 
would remain nothing to be desired but that England 
should be seen to associate herself thereto with the 
same view. 

The reason which recommends the establishment of 
this agreement is very simple. 

On land, Russia exercises, in regard to Turkey, a 
preponderant action. 

On sea, England occupies the same position. 

Isolated, the action of these two powers might do 
"uich mischief. United, it can produce a real benefit : 
uience, the advantage of coming to a previous under- 
standing before having recourse to action. 
^ This notion was in principle agreed upon during the 
Kmperor's last residence in London. The result was 
the eventual engagement, that if anything unforeseen 
occurred in Turkey, liussia and England should previ- 
ously concert together as to the course which they 
should pursue iu common. 

The object for which Russia and England will have 



to come to an understanding may be expressed in the 
following manner : 

1. To seek to maintain the existence of the Ottoman 
Empire in its present state, so long as that political 
combination shall be possible. 

2. If we foresee that it must crumble to pieces, to 
enter into previous concert as to everything relating to 
the establishment of a new order of things, intended to 
replace that which now exists, and in conjunction with 
each other to see that the change which may have 
occurred in the internal situation of that empire shall 
not injuriously affect either the security of their own 
states and the rights which the treaties assure to them 
respectively, or the maintenance of the balance of power 
in Europe. 

Eor the purpose thus stated, the policy of Russia 
and of Austria, as we have already said, is closely 
united by the principle of perfect identity. If Eng- 
land, as the principal maritime power, acts in concert 
with them, it is to be supposed that France will find 
herself obliged to act in conformity with the course 
agreed upon between St Petersburg, London, and 
Vienna. 

Conflict between the Great Powers being thus obvi- 
ated, it is to be hoped that the peace of Europe will be 
maintained even in the midst of such serious circum- 
stances. It is to secure this object of common interest, 
if the case occurs, that, as the Emperor agreed with 
Her Britannic Majesty's Ministers during his residence 
in England, the previous understanding which Russia 
and England shall establish between themselves must 
be directed.' 

The remarkable features in this agreement, if 
agreement it may be called, are these that Russia, 
by looking so confidently at the future dissolution 
of Turkey, was more likely to bring about than to 
retard that event ; that the connivance of England 
with Russia was to be kept quiet ; that Austria 
would do and think exactly as Russia might 
suggest; that France would be compelled to agree 
to any settlement of Turkish difficulties Avhich the 
other three powers had previously agreed upon ; 
and that Prussia was ignored altogether, as if her 
Avishes and opinions were not of the smallest 
importance. 

Such, then, was the Memorandum of the con- 
fidential conversations held in 1844 ; and now we 
come to the Secret Correspondence of a later 
period. 

This correspondence commenced on the llth of 
January 1853, and ended on the 21st of April. It 
consists of twelve dispatches from Sir Hamilton 
Seymour at St Petersburg, four enclosures in 
those dispatches, one dispatch from Lord John 
Russell to Sir Hamilton, and two from the Earl 
of Clarendon the office of foreign secretary in 
England having changed hands during this 
interval. Sir H. Seymour, in his first dispatch, 
stated that the Emperor of Russia, on the 9th of 
January, expressed his pleasure that the Earl of 
Aberdeen had succeeded to office the Derby 
ministry having been broken up in the previous 
month and his hope that the ministry would 
be of long duration. ' His imperial majesty 
desired me particularly to convey this assurance 
to the Earl of Aberdeen, with whom, he said, 
he had been acquainted for nearly forty years, 



THE 'SECRET CORRESPONDENCE' OF 1844 AND 1853. 



65 



and for whom he entertained equal regard and 
esteem. His majesty desired to be brought to 
the kind recollection of his lordship.' It would 
be unjust to blame a statesman simply because a 
foreign sovereign respected and esteemed him ; but 
there can be little doubt, that the emperor's senti- 
ments towards the Earl of Aberdeen induced him 
to bring forward projects which would have been 
kept yet longer in abeyance if any other statesman 
had been premier of England. The emperor spoke 
of the value he attached to alliance with England, 
and used these remarkable Avords : ' When we are 
agreed (d'accord}, I am quite without anxiety as 
to the west of Europe ; it is immaterial what the 
others may think or do.' This was a side-blow at 
France. Sir H. Seymour endeavoured to draw the 
emperor into some explanation of his suspicious 
proceedings in regard to Turkey ; and it was then 
that the phrase concerning the ' sick man ' was 
first used. The emperor said : ' Tenez. Nous avons 
sur les bras un homme malade un homme grave- 
ment malade ; ce sera, je vous le dis franchement, 
un grand malheur si, un de ces jours, il devait 
nous echapper, surtout avant que toutes les dis- 
positions necessaires fussent prises.'* To which 
Sir H. Seymour replied : ' Yotre majeste est si 
gracieuse, qu'elle me permcttra de lui faire encore 
une observation. Votre majeste dit que l'homme 
est malade ; c'est bien vrai ; mais votre majeste 
daignera m'excuser si je lui fair observer, que c'est 
a I'homme genereux et fort de menager l'homme 
malade et faible.' f 

On the 14th, Sir II. Seymour had another 
conversation with the emperor. The emperor 
still harped upon the ' sick man.' He spoke of 
the probable downfall of Turkey, and then said: 
' Now, I desire to speak to you as a friend and 
as a gentleman : if England and I arrive at an 
understanding of this matter, as regards the rest 
it matters little to me ; it is indifferent to me what 
others do or think. Frankly, then, I tell you 
plainly, that if England thinks of establishing 
herself one of these days at Constantinople, I will 
not allow it. I do not attribute this intention to 
you, but it is better on these occasions to speak 
plainly. For my part, I am equally disposed to 
engage not to establish myself there, as proprietor 
that is to say, for as occupier I do not say. It 
might happen that circumstances if no previous 
provision were made, if everything should be left 
to chance might place me in the position of 
occupying Constantinople.' In the conversation 
that ensued, the emperor dwelt on what would 
have to be done if the ' sick man ' should die ; 
whereas the British ambassador dwelt rather on 
the desirability of curing the ' sick man' if possible 



* ' Stay. We have on our hands a sick man a very sick man ; 
it -will be, I tell you frankly, a great misfortune if, one of these 
days, he should slip away from us, especially before all necessary 
arrangements were made.' 

t ' Your majesty is so gracious, that you will allow me to make 
one further observation. Your majesty says the man is sick ; it is 
very true ; but your majesty will deign to excuse me if I remark, 
that it is the part of a generous and strong man to treat with 
gentleness the sick and feeble man.' 



a difference too characteristic to be regarded as 
unimportant. The emperor stated that he had 
expressed his views on these points to the Duke 
of "Wellington, when in England in 1844. 

Lord John Russell, as secretary of state for 
foreign affairs, replied to Sir H. Seymour (9th 
February), that the emperor's remarks concerning 
the 'sick man' were unsatisfactory, because any 
agreement between Russia and England ought to 
refer to some particular time that could be guessed 
at, at least, within a few years ; whereas the ' sick 
man' might live twenty fifty a hundred years. 
His lordship proceeded to remark : ' In these cir- 
cumstances, it would hardly be consistent with the 
friendly feelings towards the sultan which animate 
the Emperor of Russia, no less than the Queen of 
Great Britain, to dispose beforehand of the provinces 
under his dominion. Besides this consideration, 
however, it must be observed, that an agreement 
made in such a case tends very surely to hasten 
the contingency for which it is intended to 
provide. Austria and France could not, in fair- 
ness, be kept in ignorance of the transaction ; nor 
would such concealment be consistent with the 
end of preventing a European war. Indeed, such 
concealment cannot be intended by his imperial 
majesty. It is to be inferred that, as soon as Great 
Britain and Russia should have agreed on the 
course to be pursued, and have determined to 
enforce it, they should communicate their intentions 
to the great powers of Europe. An agreement 
thus made, and thus communicated, would not be 
very long a secret ; and while it would alarm and 
alienate the sultan, the knowledge of its existence 
would stimulate all his enemies to increased 
violence and more obstinate conflict.' He further 
stated, that the emperor, as occupier of Constanti- 
nople, Avould be exposed to numberless temptations 
to go one step further, and make himself proprietor 
at last. 

In two further conversations, held on 20th and 
21st February, the emperor learned from Sir H. 
Seymour that the English government deemed it 
better to try and support the ' sick man,' than to 
dwell so much on his prospective death ; and that 
that death did not, after all, appear to be so very 
near. ' Then,' rejoined the emperor, ' I will tell 
you, that if your government has been led to 
believe that Turkey retains any elements of 
existence, your government must have received 
incorrect information. I repeat to you that the 
sick man is dying; and we can never allow 
such an event to take us by surprise. We must 
come to some understanding; and this we should 
do, I am convinced, if I could hold but ten 
minutes' conversation with your ministers with 
Lord Aberdeen, for instance, who knows me so 
well, who has full confidence in me, as I have 
in him.' Following up the conversation, which 
became a matter of delicacy and difficulty to the 
British ambassador, the emperor, in reply to a 
question, said: ' You must understand, that when 
I speak of Russia, I speak of Austria as well; what 



66 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



suits the our, suits the other; our interests, as 
iv:ards Turkey, are perfectly identical.' When 
for some explanation of his views con- 



cerning Turkey, ho said: 'In the event of tho 
<li-olution of the Ottoman Empire, I think it 
might be less difficult to arrive at a satisfactory 
territorial arrangement than is commonly believed. 
Tho Principalities are, in fact, an independent 
state under my protection: this might so continue. 
Servia might receive the same form of government. 
So, again, with Bulgaria: there seems to be no 
reason why this province should not form an 
independent state. As to Egypt, I quite understand 
the importance to England of that territory. I 
can then only say, that if, in the event of a 
distribution of the Ottoman succession upon the 
fall of the empire, you should take possession of 
Egypt, I shall have no objections to offer. I would 
say the same thing of Candia : that island might 
suit you, and I do not know- why it should not 
become an English possession.' 

All this struck Sir H. Seymour as being ominous 
and alarming. In writing home concerning it, 
he said : ' It can hardly be otherwise but that the 
sovereign who insists with such pertinacity upon 
the impending fall of a neighbouring state, must 
have settled in his own mind that the hour, if not 
of its dissolution, at all events for its dissolution, 
must be at hand. Then, as now, I reflected that 
this assumption would hardly be ventured upon 
unless some, perhaps general, but at all events 
intimate, understanding existed between Russia 
and Austria. Supposing my suspicion to be Avell 
founded, the emperor's object is to engage her 
majesty's government, in conjunction with his own 
cabinet and that of Vienna, in some scheme for the 
ultimate partition of Turkey, and for tho exclusion 
of France from the arrangement.' That a secret 
understanding between the Emperors of Russia 
and Austria concerning Turkey had been arrived 
at during their meeting at Olmiitz in 1852, was 
a probability which Sir H. Seymour frequently 
insisted on in the course of his dispatches. 

A few days after these important conversations, 
the emperor dictated to Count Nesselrode the 
wording of a 'memorandum,' which should embody 
the heads of the conversations; because as only 
two persons were present, those two alone could 
narrate what had passed. The count gave a copy 
of the memorandum to Sir Hamilton, who sent 
home another copy to the English government. 
The memorandum was chiefly a recapitulation of 
what, had been said ; but while Count Nesselrode, 
on the part of the emperor, wished the matter 
to be carried on further in the same secret way, 
the British ambassador, on the part of his court, 
urged that the sooner such a mode of discussing 
such delicate affairs was put an end to the better. 

The Earl of Clarendon, on taking the seals of the 
foreign office, replied fully to Sir II. Seymour's 
.several dispatches, and discussed at some length 
(23d March) all the points of the emperor's 
memorandum. He stated that England had still 



faith in the vitality of Turkey ; that nothing can 
be more fatal to that vitality, than the assumption 
of its rapid and inevitable decay; that if tho 
emperor's opinion on this point were made known, 
it would hasten rather than retard the catastrophe ; 
that no sound government for Turkey can at 
present be devised, if the Moslem rule should cease ; 
that England desires no such aggrandisement of 
territory as tho emperor had hinted at in respect 
to Egypt ; that England must refuse to make any 
agreement on such matters with Russia, unknown 
to the other powers of Europe; that the fall of 
Turkey can be followed only by a general European 
congress, such as that of 1815; that a congress 
would develop such a stream of hostile rivalries, 
that the longer it can be postponed the better ; 
and that a considerate forbearance on all sides 
towards Turkey, would be better than any reite- 
rated assertion of her approaching downfall. His 
lordship came in strong collision with the emperor 
in the following passage : ' Nor can we admit that 
the signs of Turkish decay are now either more 
evident or more rapid than of late years : there is 
still great energy and great wealth in Turkey ; a 
disposition to improve the system of government 
is not wanting; corruption, though unfortunately 
great, is still not of a character, nor carried to an 
extent, that threatens the existence of the state; 
the treatment of Christians is not harsh ; and 
the toleration exhibited by the Porte towards this 
portion of its subjects, might serve as an example 
to some governments who look with contempt 
upon Turkey as a barbarous power.' 

A few more dispatches passed ; but the one just 
noticed, from the Earl of Clarendon, was the last 
which contained any definite explanations of views. 
The remainder was chiefly a string of courtly 
phrases, in which each party expressed satisfaction 
at being so well understood by the other. It is 
impossible, nevertheless, not to feel that the whole 
subject was left in a nebulous state nothing being 
cleared up. Such, by fatality or by design, has 
been the character of many diplomatic discussions 
in which Russia has been concerned. It is almost 
inconceivable that, after the indication of Russian 
views thus given, the Earl of Clarendon, in a 
dispatch dated 5th of April, should have spoken of 
the Nesselrode memorandum of the conversations 
in the following terms : ' It is my duty to inform 
you, that that important and remarkable document 
was received by her majesty's government with 
feelings of sincere satisfaction, as a renewed proof 
of the emperor's confidence and friendly feelings.' 
The English statesmen blew hot and cold in this 
matter used too many honeyed phrases to sweeten 
their censure ; and it can hardly be wondered 
at if the Emperor of Russia, in the prosecution of 
his schemes, afterwards insisted upon the honey 
rather than upon the censure. 

The results of secret diplomacy were frequently 
illustrated during the progress of the war or 
rather, the existence of state documents was fre- 
quently ascertained, of which the nation had been 



RUPTURE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



67 



entirely ignorant. Thus, the Earl of Aberdeen 
remained for a quarter of a century under the 
imputation of having connived at the Treaty of 
Adrianople the most disastrous which Turkey 
was ever called upon to make with Russia. He 
had been secretary of state for foreign affairs in 
1829, when that treaty was signed ; and when, in 
1854, as prime minister, he bore the responsibility 
of war with Russia, he was frequently charged in 
the House of Lords with entertaining pro-Russian 
views, and with having, in 1829, been instrumental 
in fixing Russian shackles upon Turkey. To 
defend himself from these charges, the Earl of 
Aberdeen moved for the production of a state 
document namely, a dispatch, dated October 31, 
1829, from himself to Lord Heytesbury, British 
ambassador to the court of St Petersburg. This 
dispatch announced the receipt, by the English 
government, of the information that the Treaty 
of Adrianople had been signed. It expressed 
regret and alarm at the terms of that treaty. It 
passed in review the numerous disadvantages 
accruing to Turkey from the treaty the cession of 
Asiatic fortresses ; the insinuation of Russia like a 
wedge between the Turkish and Persian empires ; 
the protectorate by Russia of Wallachia and Mol- 
davia; the intermeddling of Russia in the affairs 
of Servia ; the power acquired by the czar over 
the mouths of the Danube ; the encroachment on 
the power of the sultan in the Dardanelles all 
were touched upon in the dispatch ; and the earl 
forcibly expressed his apprehensions at the con- 
sequences of a treaty so disastrous to Turkey. The 
dispatch, which was directed to be read to Count 
Nesselrode, was not unworthy of an English states- 
man ; but it is strange that the Earl of Aberdeen, 
writing thus in 1829, should have allowed himself 
to be hoodwinked by the czar in 1844, and again 
in 1853. 



RUPTURE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE 
WESTERN POWERS. 

The diplomacy, whether secret or avowed, failed 
to heal the wounds which distracted Europe ; and 
war against Russia was declared by England and 
France in March 1854. England and France re- 
garded it as a political war a war to preserve the 
balance of power in Europe by preventing Russia 
from crushing Turkey ; but Russia chose to give 
it a religious aspect, as if the existence of the 
orthodox faith were imperilled. Sir G. Larpent 
remarks on this point : ' If the Emperor of Russia 
has the right to attack a foreign state, because he 
believes his co-religionists are oppressed there, then 
we must concede a similar right to other nations. 
Are not the Catholics and Protestants who live 
under the sceptre of the czar in a far more hopeless 
condition than the Christians in Turkey ? Has 
not the Russian government forced millions, by 
every description of cruelty and treachery, to give up 
the belief of their fathers 1 If these are notorious 



facts, it necessarily follows, from the premises 
of the Russian court, that all the Catholic states 
of Europe have the right to invade the Russian 
territory, and to regain for their co-religionists 
those liberties of which they have been robbed, 
in contradiction to morality and in the face of the 
most solemn compacts. Russia will not grant such 
a right to the Catholic and Protestant states ; and 
for that very reason she ought to refrain from such 
injustice herself.' * 

Two of the documents which were made 
public shortly before the commencement of the 
war, are of remarkable character, in respect 
to the imperial position of the writers. These 
were a letter from the Emperor Napoleon to 
the Emperor Nicholas, and the reply. After 
the bold seizure of power in 1851 by the then 
President of the French Republic, Prince Louis 
Napoleon, followed by the assumption of the 
imperial title in 1852, the small states of Europe 
hesitated whether or not to recognise the new 
Emperor of the French : they waited for a sign 
from the great continental leader the Czar 
Nicholas. Nicholas gave that qualified assent 
which is typified by the appellation of 'good 
friend ' to the person addressed, instead of ' brother' 
a difference which is understood to have a definite 
meaning in royal circles. The Emperor Napoleon, 
thus admitted to a sort of equality with the 
czar, wrote an autograph letter to Nicholas, dated 
29th January 1854 intended as a last attempt to 
induce the czar to listen to reasonable terms of 
accommodation. Copies of this letter were pro- 
fusely distributed throughout France, as if to 
notify to the French nation that their emperor 
would not unnecessarily or wantonly plunge into 
war. The letter passed in review all the cir- 
cumstances of the quarrel between Russia and 
Turkey, and the obligations of England and 
France towards Turkey; and it then sketched a 
proposal, that an armistice should be signed 
forthwith ; that the Russian troops should be with- 
drawn from the Principalities ; that the English 
and French fleets should be withdrawn from the 
Black Sea ; that Russia and Turkey should appoint 
two plenipotentiaries ; and that these should 
agree upon a convention to be submitted to the 
four powers. The letter ended by the declaration, 
that it, was written by ' Your Majesty's good 
friend, Napoleon." The reply from the czar, 
dated ^ p; 1854, was courteously worded, but 
non-effective towards the maintenance of peace. 
It exonerated Russia, and threw all the blame 
on Turkey and her Allies. It proposed that the 
AUies should withdraw the fleets before he was 
to be called upon to withdraw his armies ; and 
that Turkey should send an ambassador to St 
Petersburg to sue for peace. The letter contained 
these words : 'Whatever your majesty may decide, 
menaces will not induce me to recede ; my confi- 
dence is in God and in my right ; and Russia, as 

* Turkey : its History and Progress, ii. 414. 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



I can guarantee, will prove herself in 1854 
what. she was in 1812.' This allusion to the 
disasters at Moscow was very galling, and was 
perhaps intended so to be, to the French. The 
,.MiTes|>oiidenee tuok place without previous concert 
with the British sovereign or government ; whether 
it would have been approved beforehand, has not 
stated ; but the English ministers afterwards 
their assent to \\hai the Emperor of the 
had advanced. 



Another effort to preserve peace, and one of a 
singular character, Avas made in a non-official 
quarter. The members of the Society of Friends 
have ever been remarkable for the consistency with 
which, through good report and evil report, they 
have deprecated war in all its forms ; and they 
resolved on an attempt to move the mighty c/ar, 
who would not be moved by the united voice of 
Europe. On the 20th of January, three Quakers 
Henry Pease of Darlington ; Joseph Sturge, of 




Louis NAPOLEON. 



Birmingham; and Robert Charlton, of Bristol 
set out on a winter-journey from London to St 
Petersburg, by way of Berlin, Kb'nigsbcrg, and Riga. 
The route from Riga to St Petersburg was traversed 
by means of sledges ; and no fewer than 300 "horses 
were required for this service, by successive relays 
on the road. Considering the great amount of 
snow which had fallen, however, and the extent 
of the journey, the travellers reached their destina- 
tion with less discomfort than they had expected. 
On their arrival at the Russian capital, they 
obtained an introduction to a gentleman who had 
resided in Russia for forty years, and who, it was 
thought, would be of service to them in their 
delicate mission. lie advised them to solicit an 
interview with Count Ncsselrodc, chancellor or 
prime minister of the empire. This they did, 
stating that they had not deemed it advisable to 
apply to their own ministers, or to the Russian 



ambassador in London ; and that, for the same 
reasons, they had preferred applying to Count 
Nesselrodc direct, for the purpose of securing his 
assistance in the presentation of the Society's 
address to the emperor. They waited on the 
count, and left him a French copy of the address 
for the emperor's perusal. As a consequence, they 
Averc admitted to an audience of the emperor on 
the 10th. They read an Address from the Society 
of Friends, praying the emperor, in the name of 
that Christianity which was alike his religion and 
theirs, to avert the horrors of war by adopting 
some other means than those of bloodshed to heal 
the wounds between him and other sovereigns. 
He received them kindly, and then spoke at some 
length, throwing the whole blame of the war upon 
others as was his wont whether in speaking or 
writing. He then introduced them to the empress 
and the Grand-duchess Olga daughter of the czar, 



RUPTURE BETWEEN EUSSIA AND THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



and Princess-royal of Wurtemberg by whom they 
were courteously received. The emperor seiit a 
written reply by the three deputies to the Society 
of Friends in England ; and thus ended an 
attempt, fruitless in result, but respectable for 
the singleness of purpose and the unselfishness 
which had suggested it. The proceeding, however, 
did not pass without strictures in parliament. It 
was urged in many quarters that private indi- 
viduals, however excellent their motives, could 
not thus assume the management of international 
disputes, without incurring a risk of embarrassing 
the government on whom the responsibility of 
public affairs rested. 

At a somewhat later period in the history of the 
Avar, Frederika Bremer, the Swedish authoress, 
sought to apply her womanly gentleness towards 
the maintenance of peace not, as the Quakers 
had done, by a direct appeal to the czar individu- 
ally, but by appealing to European sympathies 
generally. She prepared an address, for publica- 
tion in the English, American, French, Russian, 
Swedish, and German newspapers ; and, as might 
have been expected, selected the Times as the 
representative of the English press. The address 
was an invitation to a Peace Alliance, among the 
women of all nations. It commenced thus : ' At 
a time like this, when the Powers of the West arm 
themselves against those of the East, and enter into 
a struggle threatening to spread over several of the 
countries of Europe like a large bleeding wound, 
tearing men from their homes, leaving thousands 
of widows and fatherless children, destroying 
harvests, burning cities, filling hospitals, calling up 
bitter and hateful passions, laying shackles on 
commerce, imbittering life in many thousand 
quiet, industrious families : a struggle, the sorrowful 
effects of which possibly may be felt by most of 
the nations of the earth at such a time we have 
ventured a thought, a hope, that through woman a 
peaceful alliance might be concluded, embracing 
the whole earth an alliance opposing the direful 
effects of war, and contributing by united and 
well-directed efforts, under the blessing of God, to 
the development of a state of peace, love, and well- 
being, to come forth when once the terrors of war 
shall be over, and the time of devastation has 
passed away.' The project consisted in an attempt 
to combine all the benevolent societies of women 
in all countries into one great alliance : to enable 
those who heal the sick, educate the young, shelter 
the houseless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, 
reform the vicious, raise the fallen, to combine 
their efforts to yet greater purpose during a time 
of war if not to stem the warfare itself, at least 
to mitigate its horrors. Addressing the benevo- 
lent women of all countries, the writer, or perhaps 
writers said : ' We ought now to tell you who they 
are who thus address you.' We are Swedish 
women, united for the care of poor orphans and 
destitute families in Stockholm, the capital of 
Sweden. We can rejoice in the co-operation of 
our queen, and the humblest woman can join us, 



and taking care of a family or a single child, rise 
to the dignity of its guardian-angel on earth. We 
have recently entered into connection with the 
societies of women, daily becoming more numerous, 
in different parts of this country, in order thereby 
to strengthen and encourage each other. We are a 
little flock, and belong to a small nation ; but we 
rejoice that from this nation have risen great men 
and benefactors to humanity.' Generous as Avas 
the intention, all-womanly the feeling, the project 
was not of a practicable character. The Times, in 
a friendly editorial article, pointed out this to Miss 
Bremer, and added: 'The influence of Avomen is 
boundless in the world : as mothers, Avives, sisters, 
daughters, Ave have to thank them for Avell-nigh 
every particle of real happiness AVC enjoy in our 
passage from the cradle to the grave. Wherever 
misfortune falls or calamity oppresses, or sickness 
chains the limbs of a sufferer to his bed of pain, 
there they Avill be found, with pity in their glances, 
comfort in their touch, and charity in their hearts. 
But Ave have a A^ery strong belief that a Avoman 
must be left to select the objects of her sympathy 
for herself, and that any attempt to drill her. into 
the measured step of a battalion of charity, march- 
ing to the relief of the Avorld in general, would 
most signally break down. In benevolence, as in all 
things else if we may argue from the practice of 
the best and kindliest among them women sheAV 
to most advantage in the quiet of their OAvn homes. 
Leave it to them to find out the poor neigh- 
bour, and the poor neighbour's sick child, and to 
administer relief in their own way. As many as 
step out of this sacred circle, are not altogether 
so admirable as those Avho remain within it. 
We have never heard of any real advantage to 
humanity Avhich has resulted from high-soaring 
female endeavours to regenerate mankind.' 

To revert to the course of public affairs. The 
\vithdraAval of the Russian ambassadors from 
London and Paris, after the failure of the corre- 
spondence betAveen the tAvo emperors, was quickly 
folloAved by the issuing of the folloAving manifesto 
by the czar : 

'We, Nicholas I., &c. 

We have already informed our beloved and faithful 
subjects of the progress of our disagreements with the 
Ottoman Porte. 

Since then, although hostilities have commenced, 
we have not ceased sincerely to wish, as we still wish, 
the cessation of bloodshed. We entertained even the 
hope that reflection and time would convince the 
Turkish government of its misconceptions, engendered 
by treacherous instigations, in which our just demands, 
founded on treaties, have been represented as attempts 
upon its independence veiling intentions of aggrandise- 
ment. Vain, however, have been our expectations so far. 

The English and French governments have sided 
with Turkey, and the appearance of the combined 
fleets off Constantinople served as a further incentive 
to its obstinacy ; and now, both the Western Powers, 
without previously declaring war, have sent their fleets 
into the Black Sea, proclaiming their intention to 
protect the Turks, and to impede the free navigation 
of our vessels of Avar for the defence of our coasts. 
After a course of proceeding so unheard of among 



70 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



civilised nations, wo recalled our embassies from 
England and France, and have broken off all political 
intercourse with those powers. 

Tims, England and France have sided with the 
enemies of Christianity against Eussia combating for 
the orthodox faith. 

But Russia will not betray her holy mission ; and, 
if enemies infringe her frontiers, we are ready to meet 
them with the firmness bequeathed to us by our 
forefathers. Are we not still the same Russian nation 
of whose exploits the memorable events of 1812 bear 
witness ? 

May the Almighty assist us to prove this by deeds! 
With this hope, combating for our persecuted brethren, 
followers of the faith of Christ, with one accord let all 
Russia exclaim : " O Lord, our Redeemer ! whom shall 
we fear ? May God be glorified, and His enemies be 
scattered ! " 
ST FETEESBUHG, February 1854.' 

This manifesto created a very uneasy feeling 
throughout Western Europe ; it so evidently 
shewed what efforts would be made to give the 
approaching war a religious aspect, and to kindle 
the torch of fanaticism in aid of the czar's views. 
To say that ' England and France have sided with 
the enemies of Christianity against Russia com- 
bating for the orthodox faith,' was to say that 
which would rouse millions of ignorant serfs into 
implacable hostility against Western Europe. 

The formal declaration of war by England is 
here given in full, as an official record of the 
circumstances which led to hostilities : 

'It is with deep regret that Her Majesty announces 
the failure of her anxious and protracted endeavours 
to preserve for her people and for Europe the blessings 
of peace. 

The unprovoked aggression of the Emperor of 
Russia against the Sublime Porte has been persisted in 
with such disregard of consequences, that after the 
rejection by the Emperor of Russia of terms which the 
Emperor of Austria, the Emperor of the French, and 
the King of Prussia, as well as Her Majesty, considered 
just and equitable, Her Majesty is compelled by a 
sense of what is due to the honour of her crown, to 
the interests of her people, and to the independence of 
the states of Europe, to come forward in defence of an 
ally whose territory is invaded, and whose dignity and 
independence are assailed. 

Her Majesty, in justification of the course she is 
about to pursue, refers to the transactions in which Her 
Majesty has been engaged. 

The Emperor of Russia had some cause of complaint 
against the Sultan with reference to the settlement, 
which His Highness had sanctioned, of the conflicting 
claims of the Greek and Latin Churches to a portion 
of the Holy Places of Jerusalem and its neighbourhood. 
To the complaint of the Emperor of Russia on this 
head justice was done, and Her Majesty's Ambassador 
at Constantinople had the satisfaction of promoting an 
arrangement, to which no exception was taken by the 
Russian Government. 

But, while the Russian Government repeatedly 
assured the Government of Her Majesty, that the 
mission of Prince Menchikoff to Constantinople -was 
exclusively directed to the settlement of the question 
of the Holy Places at Jerusalem, Prince Menchikoff 
lumself pressed upon the Porte other demands of a far 
more serious and important character, the nature of 

ich he m the first instance endeavoured, as far as 
possible, to conceal from Her Majesty's Ambassador. 
And these demands, thus studiously concealed, affected 



not the privileges of the Greek Church at Jerusalem, 
but the position of many millions of Turkish subjects 
in their relations to their sovereign the Sultan. 

These demands were rejected by the spontaneous 
decision of- the Sublime Porte. 

Two assurances had been given to Her Majesty 
one, that the mission of Prince Menchikoff only 
regarded the Holy Places ; the other, that his mission 
would be of a conciliatory character. 

In both respects Her Majesty's just expectations 
were disappointed. 

Demands were made which, in the opinion of the 
Sultan, extended to the substitution of the Emperor of 
Russia's authority for his own over a large portion of 
his subjects, and those demands were enforced by a 
threat ; and when Her Majesty learned that, on 
announcing the termination of his mission, Prince 
Menchikoff declared that the refusal of his demands 
would impose upon the Imperial Government the 
necessity of seeking a guarantee by its own power, Her 
Majesty thought proper that her fleet should leave 
Malta, and, in co-operation with that of His Majesty 
the Emperor of the French, take up its station in the 
neighbourhood of the Dardanelles. 

So long as the negotiation bore an amicable character, 
Her Majesty refrained from any demonstration of 
force. But when, in addition to the assemblage of 
large military forces on the frontier of Turkey, the 
Ambassador of Russia intimated that serious conse- 
quences would ensue from the refusal of the Sultan to 
comply with unwarrantable demands, Her Majesty 
deemed it right, in conjunction with the Emperor of 
the French, to give an unquestionable proof of her 
determination to support the sovereign rights of the 
Sultan. 

The Russian Government has maintained that the 
determination of the Emperor to occupy the Princi- 
palities was taken in consequence of the advance of 
the fleets of England and France. But the menace of 
invasion of the Turkish territory was conveyed in 
Count Nesselrode's note to Reshid Pacha of the ^ 
of May, and re-stated in his despatch to Baron Brunnow 
of the jin^f> which announced the determination of 
the Emperor of Russia to order his troops to occupy 
the Principalities, if the Porte did not within a week 
comply with the demands of Russia. 

The dispatch to Her Majesty's Ambassador at 
Constantinople, authorising him in certain specified 
contingencies to send for the British fleet, was dated 
the 31st of May, and the order sent direct from 
England to Her Majesty's Admiral to proceed to the 
neighbourhood of the Dardanelles was dated the 2d of 
June. 

The determination to occupy the Principalities was 
therefore taken before the orders for the advance of the 
combined squadrons were given. 

The Sultan's Minister was informed, that unless he 
signed within a week, and without the change of a 
word, the Note proposed to the Porte by Prince Men- 
chikoff on the eve of his departure from Constantinople, 
the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallaclua would be 
occupied by Russian troops. The Sultan could not 
accede to so insulting a demand ; but when the actual 
occupation of the Principalities took place, the Sultan 
di8 not, as he might have done in the exercise of his 
undoubted right, declare war, but addressed a protest 
to his Allies. 

Her Majesty, in conjunction with the sovereigns of 
Austria, France, and Prussia, has made various attempts 
to meet any just demands of the Emperor of Russia 
without affecting the dignity and independence of the 
Sultan ; and had it been the sole object of Russia to 
obtain security for the enjoyment by the Christian 
subjects of the Porte of their privileges and immunities, 



RUPTURE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854 



71 



she would have found it in the offers that have been 
made by the Sultan. But, as that security -was not 
offered in the shape of a special and separate stipulation 
with Russia, it was rejected. Twice has this offer been 
made by the Sultan, and recommended by the Four 
Powers once by a Note originally prepared at Vienna, 
and subsequently modified by the Porte ; once by the 
proposal of bases of negotiation agreed upon at Con- 
stantinople on the 31st of December, and approved at 
Vienna on the 13th of January as offering to the two 
parties the means of arriving at an understanding in 
a becoming and honourable manner. 

It is thus manifest that a right for Russia to interfere 
in the ordinary relations of Turkish subjects to their 
Sovereign, and not the happiness of Christian commu- 
nities in Turkey, was the object sought for by the 
Russian Government. To such a demand the Sultan 
would not submit, and His Highness, in self-defence, 
declared war upon Russia ; but Her Majesty, neverthe- 
less, in conjunction with her Allies, has not ceased her 
endeavours to restore peace between the contending 
parties. 

The time has, however, now arrived when the advice 
and remonstrances of the Four Powers having proved 
wholly ineffectual, and the military preparations of 
Russia becoming daily more extended it is but too 
obvious that the Emperor of Russia has entered upon 
a course of policy which, if unchecked, must lead to the 
destruction of the Ottoman Empire. 

In tliis conjuncture, Her Majesty feels called upon, 
by regard for an ally, the integrity and independence 
of whose empire have been recognised as essential to 
the peace of Europe, by the sympathies of her people 
with right against wrong, by a desire to avert from her 
dominions most injurious consequences, and to save 
Europe from the preponderance of a Power which has 
violated the faith of treaties, and defies the opinion of 
the civilised world, to take up arms, in conjunction 
with the Emperor of the French, for the defence of the 
Sultan. 

Her Majesty is persuaded that in so acting she will 
have the cordial support of her people ; and that the 
pretext of zeal for the Christian religion will be used 
in vain to cover an aggression undertaken in disregard 
of its holy precepts, and of its pure and beneficent 
spirit. 

Her Majesty humbly trusts that her efforts may 
be successful, and that, by the blessing of Provi- 
dence, peace may be re-established on safe and solid 
foundations. 

WESTMINSTER, March 28, 1854.' 

The English and French governments, as has 
been before observed, steadily maintained the 
political character of the struggle especially 
England, who had no concern with the question 
of the Holy Places, except that of a well-wisher, 
ready and willing to heal the wounds of all 
parties, had it been possible. The purport of the 
war is clearly stated in the above Declaration. 
Lord Palmerston stated, in the following year: 
' It is not necessary for me to follow in detail all 
the extensions of territory which have marked the 
advance of Russia for a long time. It would be 
easy for me to follow her from the eastern shores 
of Asia through Central Asia, through the Caspian 
Sea, through Armenia, Poland, and the Danube, 
and then through the extreme confines of Norway 
and the Arctic Sea it would be easy for me to 
shew that in her treaties she never took any 
natural boundary as the limit of her territory, 



but some artificial separation, which would give 
her the pretence or the occasion for further 
aggression. When such has been the policy 
pursued by Russia, and when we find the present 
Emperor of Russia [Alexander II.] declaring that 
his mission was to carry into effect the system 
pursued by Peter and Catherine, by Alexander 
and Nicholas, we felt that the time was come for 
defending the independence of Turkey and of 
Europe from- such aggression.' * 

Lord Palmerston, in another speech, delivered 
himself as follows : ' When Count Nesselrode 
asserted, at a later period, that our government 
had known from the outset what were the whole 
demands of Russia upon Turkey, he asserted that 
I am bound to say it which was utterly at 
variance with the fact. It is painful to speak of 
a government like Russia in terms of censure 
or reprobation ; but I am bound to say, on 
behalf of the English government, that the 
Russian government, by itself and its agents, has 
throughout these transactions exhausted every 
modification of untruth, concealment, and evasion, 
and ended with assertions of positive falsehood.' 
Lord John Russell, too, in one among many 
speeches on the subject, said: 'At each step 
Russia has threatened Turkey. She has kept 
Turkey in that state that, without giving imme- 
diate alarm to Europe, she could dictate at Con- 
stantinople. Late years have seen a considerable 
change in the government of Turkey. I wih 1 not 
say that that change has extended to all its inferior 
pachas and governors ; but the government of 
Turkey have seen that there are new and improved 
modes of government, consisting in dispensing 
equal justice to all her subjects, whatever might be 
their religion, and which might make Turkey 
stronger as a power than she had ever been while 
her strength rested upon the ascendancy of the 
Mohammedan race and the subjugation and degra- 
dation of every other race. That improvement of 
Turkey has excited the jealousy and apprehension 
of Russia. You will see that in no case has the 
government of Russia, which has pretended to be 
anxious for Christian privileges and for the good of 
the Christian subjects of Turkey, been favourable to 
those amendments and enlightened reforms which 
the government of Turkey have made. On the 
contrary, the language of Russia has always been : 
"Turkey must fall, unless her ancient Moham- 
medan maxims are maintained in force Turkey 
must fall, unless the old Mohammedan system is 
kept up in full vigour Turkey must fall, unless the 
separation between the Mohammedan and Christian 
races is carefully preserved and strengthened." 
Such being the language of Russia, who can doubt 
what is the intention of Russia ? Who can doubt 
that, going from step to step, augmenting her 
territory and increasing her influence, alienating 
the Christian subjects of the Porte from the 
sovereignty of the Porte, her final object which 

* Speech in the House of Commons, June 8, 1855. 



72 



ALLIANCE OF THE WESTERN TOWERS WITH TURKEY. 



commenced bcloiv Hie ini.ldlo of last century, and 
which illicit not be completed for some time to 
nmi( ,_ w ho can doubt, I say, that her final object 
must be tin- subjugation of the Ottoman Empire, 
and the absorption of a great portion of that 
empire in her own dominions, while the other 
portion, nominally independent, would be depen- 
dent in fact, on her influence and her authority? 
Such a state of things would be so dangerous to 
Muropo that we, on our side, must not stop until 
\ve have obtained some security against suck a 
consummation being effected; we on our side, 
must not stop and, let me say it, will not stop.' * 

These views certainly accorded with those enter- 
tained by the nation at large, and spoke the true 
feeling of British statesmen on the case between 
Russia and Turkey ; but it is to be regretted that 
the same energetic tone was not assumed through- 
out in their diplomacy. The c/ar, bearing on 
record the adulatory phrases so frequently applied 
to him in former years by English statesmen, was 
tempted to assume an air of injured innocence; 
while the English nation, comparing their heroic 
denunciations with a timid and vacillating course 
of policy, remained long doubtful of the sincerity 
of the government officials. 

The terms on which England and France under- 
took to assist Turkey or, rather, the objects to be 
attained were denned in a convention, ratified on 
the 15th of April 1854, of which the following are 
the principal clauses : 

1 Their Majesties the Queen of the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Emperor of the 
French, having determined to afford their support to 
His Majesty the Sultan Abdul-Medjid, Emperor of the 
Ottomans, in the war in which he is engaged against 
the aggressions of Russia ; and being, moreover, com- 
pelled, notwithstanding their sincere and persevering 
efforts for the maintenance of peace, to become them- 
selves belligerent parties in a war which, without their 
active intervention, would have threatened the exist- 
ing balance of power in Europe, and the interests of 
their own dominions ; have in consequence, resolved to 
conclude a convention in order to determine the object 
of their alliance, as well as the means to be employed 
in common for fulfilling that object ; and have for that 
purpose named as their Plenipotentiaries [here the 
names of the Earl of Clarendon and Count Walewski 
are given, in the pretentious style of such documents ; 
after which the clauses of the Convention appear as 
follow] : 

ART. I. The High Contracting Parties engage to do 
all that shall depend upon them for the purpose of bring- 
ing about the re-establishment of peace between Russia 
and the Sublime Porte on solid and durable bases, 
and of preserving Europe from the recurrence of the 
lamentable complications which have now so unhappily 
disturbed the general peace. 

ART. II. The integrity of the Ottoman Empire 
being violated by the occupation of the provinces of 
Moldavia and of Wallachia, and by other movements of 
the Russian troops, their Majesties, the Queen of the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the 
Emperor of the French, have concerted, and will concert 
together, as to the most proper means for liberating the 
territory of the Sultan from foreign invasion, anil for 

* Speech in the House of Commons, July 21, 1854. 



accomplishing the object specified in Article I. For 
this purpose they engage to maintain, according to the 
requirements of the war, to be judged of by common 
agreement, sufficient naval and military forces to meet 
those requirements, the description, number, and 
destination whereof shall, if occasion should arise, be 
determined by subsequent arrangements. 

ART. III. Whatever events may arise from the 
execution of the present convention, the High Con- 
tracting Parties engage not to entertain any overture 
or any proposition having for its object the cessation of 
hostilities, nor to enter into any arrangement with 
the Imperial Court of Russia, without having first 
deliberated thereupon in common. 

ART. IV. The High Contracting Parties being 
animated with a desire to maintain the balance of 
power iu Europe, and having no interested ends in 
view, renounce beforehand the acquisition of any 
advantage for themselves from the events which may 
occur. 

ART. V. Their Majesties the Queen of the United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Emperor 
of the French, will readily admit into their alliance, in 
order to co-operate for the proposed object, such of the 
other Powers of Europe as may be desirous of becoming 
party to it.' 

Another convention between England and 
France, relating to prisoners of war, was ratified 
in London on the 20th of May 1854. Its principal 
clauses run as follow : 

' ART. I. The prisoners made in the course of the 
present war shall, as fur as possible, be divided equally 
between the two countries. 

Whenever one of the two countries shall have main- 
tained a greater number of prisoners, or shall have 
supported a certain number for a longer period of time, 
an account shall be made every three months of the 
excess of expenditure which may have been incurred, 
and repayment shall be made of the half of the amount 
by the government of the other country. 

ART. II. Instructions shall be hereafter concerted 
between the two governments, in order to make known 
to the officers of their naval and military forces the 
places or ports to which the prisoners are to be sent. 

ART. III. If a depot for prisoners should be estab- 
lished in any place not in the possessions of either of 
the two countries, the expenses of it shall be borne 
between the two governments ; but the advances to be 
made shall be by the government which shall have 
appointed officers to take charge of the establishment. 

ART. IV. Whenever the two governments shall 
agree to an exchange of prisoners with the enemy, no 
distinction shall be made between their respective 
subjects who may have fallen into the hands of the 
enemy, but their liberation shall be stipulated accord- 
ing to priority of the date of their capture, except under 
special circumstances, which are reserved for the 
mutual consideration of the two governments.' 

It was a natural consequence of the unity of 
purpose with which England and France entered 
upon the war, that the two nations should place 
themselves, as nearly as possible, on an equality 
in all that concerned actual conflict with Russia. 
Hence, the foreign secretary sent to all our consuls, 
the colonial secretary sent to all our colonial 
governors, the Admiralty sent to all naval com- 
manders on foreign stations, and the French 
government sent to all their consuls and naval 
commanders, instructions, the general tenor of 
which may be gathered from the following : ' It 



RUPTURE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



73 



is a necessary consequence of the strict union and 
alliance Avhich exists between Great Britain and 
France, that, in the event of war, their conjoint 
action should be felt by Russia in all parts of the 
world ; that not only in the Baltic, and in the 
waters and territory of Turkey, their counsels, their 
armies, and their fleets, should be united either 
for offensive or defensive purposes against Russia, 
but that the same spirit of union should prevail in 
all quarters of the world; and that, whether for 
oftence or defence, the civil and military and 
naval resources of the British and French Empires 
should be directed to the common objects of pro- 
tecting the subjects and commerce of England and 
France from Russian aggression, and of depriving 
the Russian government of the means of inflicting 
injury on either. For these reasons, Her Majesty's 
government have agreed with that of His Majesty 
the Emperor of the French, to instruct their civil and 
naval authorities in foreign parts to consider their 
respective subjects as having an equal claim to 
protection against Russian hostility ; and for this 
purpose, either singly or in Conjunction with each 
other, to act indifferently for the support and 
defence of British and French interests. It may 
be that, in a given locality, one only of the powers 
is represented by a civil functionary, or by a naval 
force ; but in such a case, the influence and the 
power of that one must be exerted as zealously and 
efficiently for the protection of the subjects and 
interests of the other, as if those subjects and 
interests were its own.' 

So far in respect to England and France. The 
attitude assumed by Austria and Prussia towards 
Russia was much less clearly denned. A convention 
between those two powers was signed at Berlin on 
the 20th of April 1854; but this convention did 
not bind either to assist against Russia. It stated 
that ' His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, and His 
Majesty the King of Prussia, penetrated with deep 
regret at the fruitlessness of their attempts hitherto 
to prevent the breaking out of war between Russia 
on the one hand, and Turkey, France, and England 
on the other,' had deemed it necessary to make 
arrangements for defending each other, and Ger- 
many generally, whether attacked by Russia or 
by England and France. The convention consists 
mainly of the following five articles : 

' ART. I. His Imperial Apostolic Majesty, and His 
Majesty the King of Prussia, guarantee to each other 
reciprocally the possession of their German and non- 
German possession?, so that an attack made on the 
territory of the one, from whatever quarter, will he 
regarded by the other as an act of hostility against 
his own territory. 

ART. II. In the same manner, the High Contracting 
Parties hold themselves engaged to defend the rights 
and interests of Germany against all and every injury, 
and consider themselves bound accordingly for the 
mutual repulse of every attack'on any part whatsoever 
of their territories ; likewise, also, in the case where 
one of the two may find himself, in understanding with 
the other, obliged to advance actively for the defence 
of German interests. The agreement relating to the 
latter-named eventuality, as likewise the extent of the 



assistances then to be given, will form a special as also 
integral part of the present convention. 

ART. III. In order also to give due security and 
force to the conditions of the offensive and defensive 
alliance now concluded, the two Great German Powers 
bind themselves, in case of need, to hold in perfect 
readiness for war a part of their forces, at periods to be 
determined between them, and in positions to be fixed. 
With respect to the time, the extent, and the nature of 
the placing of those troops, a special stipulation will 
likewise be determined. 

ART. IV. The High Contracting Parties will invite 
all the German Governments of the Confederation to 
accede to this alliance, with the understanding that the 
federal obligations existing in virtue of Article 47 of 
the final Act of Vienna will receive the same extension 
for the States who accede as the present treaty 
stipulates. 

ART. V. Neither of the two High Contracting 
Parties will, during the duration of this alliance, enter 
into any separate alliance with other Powers which 
shall not be in entire harmony with the basis of the 
present treaty.' 

An additional article to this convention was 
signed on the same day, binding the two powers to 
endeavour to bring Russia to peaceful views, and 
denning the minimum of aggression which would 
induce them to attack Russia in hostile form : ' A 
mutual offensive advance is stipulated for only in 
the event of the incorporation of the Principalities, 
or in the event of an attack on or passage of the 
Balkan by Russia.' 

Just before war between Russia and the Western 
Powers actually commenced, the czar placed many 
parts of his dominions in a state of siege all 
commercial and civil proceedings being rendered 
subservient to military rules. Five imperial 
ukases or orders were issued at St Petersburg on 
the 5th March. One placed the government of 
Ekatherinoslav and the district of Taganrog in a 
state of siege, under General Khomuloff ; a second 
related to St Petersburg, under the Czarevitch or 
Grand-duke Alexander, afterwards Alexander 
II. ; a third, to the governments of Esthonia 
and Livonia, under General Berg and General 
Suvaroff-Kiminski ; a fourth, to the government 
of Archangel, under Vice-Admiral Boel. The 
fifth ukase related to the western and south- 
western provinces Poland, Courland, Kovno, 
Vilna, Grodno, Volhynia, Podolia, Bessarabia, 
and so much of the government of Kherson as is 
situated on the right or western side of the river 
Boug, were declared in a state of siege; the 
command in the western provinces was given to 
Prince Paskevitch and General Rudiger, and in the 
southern or south-western to Prince Gortchakoff 
and General Osten-Sacken. The Grand-duke 
Constantine, the most daring and ambitious of the 
four sons of Nicholas, commenced an energetic 
arming of all the salient points of the empire on 
the shores of the Baltic ; he travelled with untiring 
activity from station to station, examined all the 
fortifications ; and, in his capacity of Grand 
Admiral, made defensive arrangements against 
the formidable fleets of England and France. 

One remarkable circumstance connected with 



74 



ALLIANCE OP THE WESTERN POWERS WITH TURKEY. 



this war, illustrative of the sympathy felt by the 
British colonists for the mother-country, was the 
presentation of numerous addresses from the 
colonists to the crown first, when the news of the 
declaration of war arrived ; and, secondly, when a 
Patriotic Fund was established for the relief of 
the \\idows and orphans of the soldiers who 
might fall in the war. The Earl of Elgin, 
as Governor-general of Canada, transmitted to 
England 'loyal addresses' from the Legislative 
Council, the 'Legislative Assembly, the municipal 
councils of some of the towns, the ministers 
and elders of the Presbyterian community, and 
the chiefs and sachems of six nations of. Canadian 
Indians. At a later date, the same colony 

mitted 20,000 from the Canadian legis- 
lature for the soldiers' widows and orphans. 
New Brunswick sent three addresses from the 
Council, the Assembly, and the inhabitants. 
Newfoundland, Barbadoes, Grenada, Gibraltar, 
New South Wales, Van Dieman's Laud, South 
Australia, New Zealand all in like manner sent 
addresses to the crown in the summer of 1854, 
and contributions to the Patriotic Fund in the 
following winter. One pleasing incident in 
re-spect to these expressions of sympathy was, that 
the munificent Canadian donation of 20,000 

sent, half to the British, and half to the 
French forces thus regarding them truly as 
brethren in arms. The Emperor Napoleon, in 
acknowledging this gift, spoke in graceful terms 
of the bygone days when the Canadians were 
French colonists. 

So long a period had elapsed since Europe had 
been involved in an extensive war, that the more 
ardent advocates of hostility with Russia were 
scarcely prepared for the numerous disturbances 
of ordinary commerce which immediately and 
necessarily followed. The Declarations, Procla- 
mations, and Orders in Council, issued between 
February and April 1854 by the British govern- 
ment, were many in number, and bore relation 
to the following subjects: Proclamation, 18th 
February, prohibiting the exportation of arms, 
ammunition, gunpowder, military and naval stores, 
or steam -marine apparatus: Proclamation, 9th 
March, prohibiting the equipment of any ship in 
British ports for the service of a foreign state, 
without an express royal licence: Declaration, 
28th March, explanatory of the causes which had 
compelled Her Britannic Majesty to go to war with 
Russia: Declaration. :Mh March, to the effect that, 
while the queen maintains the right of a belligerent 
to prevent neutrals from breaking any blockade 
she may establish against the enemy's coasts, 
she will, nevertheless, waive the right of seizing 

uy's property (not contraband of war) on board 
a neutral vessel; and also the right of issuing 

f* of marque to privateers, in order to render 
the war as little injurious as possible to the states 
with which she remains at peace: Order in Council, 



29th March, granting a general reprisal or power 
of seizure of all Russian ships and goods, whether 
belonging to the emperor or to his subjects, and 
to condemn and sell the prizes thus taken : Order 
in Council, 29th March, placing an embargo on 
all British ships from entering Russian ports, or 
Russian ships from entering British ports, except 
under certain special circumstances : Order in 
Council, 29th March, allowing a period of six 
Aveeks for the loading and departure of any Russian 
merchant-vessels which happened at that date to 
be in British ports: Proclamation, 29th March, 
regulating the mode in which the net-value of any 
prizes shall be distributed among the commissioned 
officers, non-commissioned officers, seamen, and 
marines on board the ship or ships which might 
have captured the prize, and defining the circum- 
stances which would justify a claim to rank any 
particular ship of the fleet among the captors: 
Order in Council, 4th April, lessening the severity of 
the terms of the proclamation of 18th February, 
and allowing powd errand other materials of war to 
be exported, except to places where they might be 
likely to be rendered available to Russia : Order in 
Council, 7th April, relating to Russian ships in India 
and the colonies, and allowing them thirty days to 
take in cargo and depart, reckoning from the time 
when they should receive formal notice of this 
order: Order in Council, 7th April, extending to the 
Channel Islands and to the Isle of Man the same 
restrictions as to other British ports, in respect to 
the cessation of trade with Russia : Order in Council, 
15th April, relaxing the severity of the declaration 
of 28th March, and permitting the ships of friendly 
nations to import or export cargoes at British 
ports, to whomsoever those cargoes might belong 
with these provisos, that the goods shall not be 
contraband of war, and that the trade shall not be 
with blockaded ports: Order in Council, 15th April, 
extending the time during which Russian ships 
may take in cargoes for a British port, in respect 
to Russian ports of shipment in the Baltic and the 
White Sea: Order in Council, 15th April, prohibiting 
the exportation of arms, ammunition, or steam- 
marine apparatus, from Malta or Gibraltar, without 
especial licence from the respective governors of 
those places. 

One observation suggests itself at the close of 
this Chapter. The war was distinguished by a 
double current of operations, simultaneous but 
independent that of diplomacy, and that of 
campaigning. The diplomacy assumed varying 
hues, according to the progress of the campaigning ; 
and thus it arises that both currents must be 
watched in turn, to trace the mode in which 
each acted upon the other. The diplomacy of 
1854, in which England and France endeavoured 
in vain to induce Austria and Prussia to partici- 
pate in the war, will suitably present itself for 
notice in a more advanced portion of the work. 



CHAPTER IV. 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES IN 1854. 




HE alliance between England 
u and France for a common object, 
to be attained by warlike means 
diplomacy sliould fail, was at 
first scarcely comprehended by the 
two nations. It was something so 
' strange, that men doubted how to 
^understand it. From the days of Cre'cy, 
'Poitiers, and Agincourt from the reigns of 
'the Edwards and the Henries of feudal times 
England had experienced alternations of war and 
peace with France, but none of warlike alliance 
and co-operation. There may, possibly, have been 
instances slightly approximating to such com- 
munity of interest during times of war, but none 
of such magnitude as to occupy a prominent place 
in the pages of history. Many manifestations of 
national pride, many of mutual irritation, had been 
presented from time to time ; insomuch, that when 
the Treaty of Alliance was signed, and war against 
Russia declared, prejudices had to be swept away 
on both sides. Again, England had never been 
at war with Russia, except to a slight degree 
during the complications which followed the 
French Revolution ; and even then it was a war 
rather of paper than of cannon. That our country 
should sever all friendly ties with the powerful 
czar, seemed therefore as novel as the formation of 
an alliance by which England and France would 
fight side by side in the same cause. The explicit 
declaration in the Treaty, that neither power sought 
for any aggrandisement by reason of a contest 
intended to assist the sultan against a formidable 
enemy, appealed to the justice and good faith of 
the English and French nations; and this appeal 
met with a warm response. 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OP THE 
WESTERN POWERS. 

But England had something more to learn than 
the remodelling of alliances. She was called 
upon to meet the difficulty of waging war after 
a long period of European peace, during which the 
arts of industry had flourished, and the enthusiasm 
for military and naval glory had cooled down. The 



Duke of Wellington, during the last twenty years 
of his life, had repeatedly drawn attention to the 
fact, that the military arrangements of this country 
were in a defective state coast-defences crumbling 
away, militia system neglected, stores insufficiently 
maintained. The assertion was in some quarters 
disbelieved, and in others regarded as of no import- 
ance; while those who admitted and deplored the 
fact, were too few in number to possess a remedial 
power in the government or in parliament. The 
army and ordnance estimates were invariably high 
each year, however profound the state of peace 
may have been ; and there was a feeling spread 
abroad in the country, that if inefficiency appeared 
in our military power, offensive or defensive, it 
must be attributed to misappropriation of means, 
and not to the parsimony of the nation in respect 
to the amount of supply. Happily, or unhappily, 
nothing had occurred to put to the test the defen- 
sive power of Britain ; nor was it known, except to 
a few, how limited were our military means of 
external attack ; but various circumstances, neces- 
sarily made public during the progress of the war, 
rendered abundantly evident the fact that, in 1854, 
England was ill prepared for a campaign, so far 
as the exigencies of military service abroad were 
concerned. Slowly and painfully did this truth 
become apparent. 

The object of the war being primarily to protect 
Turkey from the attacks of Russia, and, in a 
secondary degree, to lessen the power of the czar 
to inflict mischief on his neighbours generally, it 
became a duty on the part of the Allied Powers to 
agree on a plan for obtaining these results. In all 
wars, strategy must be intimately dependent on 
geography, both natural and political ; and in this 
war against Russia, geography had marked out 
certain conditions to which the plans of the Allies 
must bend. Glancing at a map of this gigantic 
empire, we see that the czar's dominions touch the 
ocean at only a few practically available' points. 
The Arctic Ocean, along the whole of the northern 
coast of Europe and Asia, from Norway to Behring's 
Strait, bounds these dominions ; yet it presents 
but one single port of any commercial or political 
value namely, Archangel. Eastward, the power 
of Russia is bounded by the sterile and thinly 
inhabited coasts of the North Pacific ; westward, 



76 



( i.MMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



her commerce finds an outlet \>y means of the 
llaltie and tlie Sound ; in the south, the Black 
Sea ami the liospliorus tarnish the only maritime 
channels t<i the Mediterranean ; while in the 
s.iuth-east, the Caspian, an inland lake without an 
outlet, simplv separates the Russian dominions 
Cmni certain' Persian and Tatar provinces. The 
maritime regions, therefore, in \vhieh an enemy 
euuld weaken Russia, are the shores of the Baltic 
and the Ulaek Sea : the others being of compara- 
tivelv smaller value. In respect to land-frontier, 
Kus-ia touches upon the dominions of Sweden, 
Prussia, Austria, Turkey, Persia, the Tatar Khans, 
and China; and her vulnerability on any part of 
this wide-spreading frontier must depend upon the 
relations existing between the various governments. 
Now, the only one of these states which was in 
hostility with Russia in 1854, was Turkey ; for in 
the midst of the diplomacy of the period, Sweden, 
Prussia, and Austria, all kept free from any actual 
rupture with the c/ar. The land-frontier brought 
within range of probable warfare, was that which 
is conterminous to Russia and Turkey namely, 
at the boundary between Moldavia and Bessarabia, 
marked by the river Pruth ; and an irregular line 
from the eastern end of the Black Sea to Mount 
Ararat, separating Asia Minor from Georgia and 
the Caucasus. 

These conditions determined the limits and 
nature of any plan whereby the Allies might act 
effectively against Russia. English or French 
troops could be brought into action in four regions 
the shores of the Baltic, the shores of the Black 
Sea, the Russian frontier at the Pruth, and the 
Russian frontier between Georgia and Asia Minor. 
All other military operations, on anything like an 
extensive scale, were virtually interdicted by the 
political relations existing at the time between 
Russia on the one hand, and the states of 
Northern or Central Europe on the other. The 
elder Napoleon frequently demanded a right of 
way for his armies through the central states 
of Germany, when Prussia, Russia, or Austria 
was to be attacked ; but the Western Powers, in 
1854, neither asked nor could have obtained such 
a permission. To attack and capture all Russian 
vessels on the high seas ; to blockade all Russian 
ports of any commercial value ; to land armies on 
any or all of the four Russian boundaries above 
named these were the courses open to the Allies. 
It was speedily determined that both powers should 
despatch fleets to the Baltic and the Black Sea ; 
that both should send armies to Turkey, there to 
be employed as circumstances might suggest ; and 
that the forces of both powers should act together 
sharing the cost and the dangers equally earning 
equally any glory which might accrue from the 
stru-r'A 1 and contributing equally to the liberation 
of Turkey from the trammels of the czar, and 
Kurope generally from the disastrous influence of 
the c/ar's power. 

The plans of the Allies were not publicly 
known at the commencement of the war; but 



circumstances transpired early in the next following 
year, which led the governments of both countries 
to atKml explanations concerning the strength and 
destination of the respective forces in the spring of 
1N"J4. The Duke of Newcastle, who was secretary 
of state for war and the colonies when the war 
broke out, was appointed to a new office, minister or 
secretary for war, in the autumn of the same year ; 
and in this office, it was his duty to superintend all 
the arrangements for the conduct of the war. The 
following \vere the answers to five questions, 
relating to the plan of campaign, which the 
duke gave before a Committee of the House of 
Commons : 

'At what period was the expedition to the East first 
determined on ? The first official order for sending any 
troops abroad was given on the 9th of February. Those 
troops were sent to Malta. 

When it was first decided upon, was it intended to 
make an expedition to Turkey ? Certainly. 

With what object was that expedition undertaken ? 
The first and immediate object was to protect the 
Turkish Empire from invasion, then threatened by the 
Russian forces, which had advanced upon the left bank 
of the Danube. 

What was the origin of the determination to make 
war? The course taken by the Emperor of Russia 
in invading the Principalities a part of the Turkish 
dominions was the immediate cause. 

Can you explain why Malta was selected, in the 
first instance, as the destination of the troops? The 
reason was this : it was considered desirable that at the 
moment of declaring war, or of signing a convention 
with Turkey, we should send a military force into the 
sultan's territories, and it was desirable that that force 
should be as large as possible. The distance from 
England being so great, I considered it right to recom- 
mend to the government, which adopted my suggestion, 
to send out a body of 10,000 men to Malta in the 
first instance ; to have the steam-transports which 
had conveyed those troops sent home to fetch a similar 
number of troops ; while the advanced corps at Malta 
could be transferred, by means of sailing transports and 
the men-of-war steamers, to Turkey ; so that the whole 
force of 20,000 or 25,000 men would be landed there 
in one-half the time which would have been requisite 
had none been sent on first to Malta.'* 

The Duke of Newcastle gave further information 
concerning the preliminary arrangements made by 
the English government, before the actual declara- 
tion of war, ' As early as the beginning of January, 
foreseeing the great probability of our being obliged 
to send out a military force to that country, we sent 
Lieutenant-colonel Vicars, with three other officers 
of engineers, to Turkey, \vith general directions to 
inspect the country, and the means of defence 
especially bearing upon the capital, and also to 
render any assistance they could to the Turkish 
government to prepare defences. Colonel Vicars 
was taken seriously ill at Gibraltar, and unable to 
proceed ; in consequence of which, we applied to 
Sir ,T. Burgoyne to recommend an officer to suc- 
ceed him, and Sir J. Burgoyne at once, in the 

* Proceedings of the Cummittce on the State of the Army 7;</r,' 
Sebastopol. The history of this committee belongs to a later portion 
of the present work ; but the evidence collected "will occasionally be 
adverted to, in so far as it throws light on circumstances connected 
with the early stages of the war. 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OF THE WESTERN POWERS: 1854. 



77 



handsomest manner, offered to go himself. He did 
so, leaving this country by the next mail ; I think 
about the 27th or 28th of January. They made 
an accurate survey of the whole country, and 
recommended that lines should be thrown up at 
Bulair, and even, if necessary, in front of Constan- 
tinople. Soon after he had left this country, I, 
believing he had not a sufficient engineering staffj 
sent out Major Dickson of the artillery a dis- 
tinguished officer, who was selected on account of 
his knowledge of the Turkish language and 
manners and three other engineer officers, with 
further instructions to examine the country, and 
report upon its salubrity, to ascertain what places 
were suitable for the encampment of troops, and 
where wholesome water was to be procured. Those 
officers executed the duty intrusted to them, and 
Major Dickson subsequently reconnoitred the 
Danube and the greater part of Bulgaria: Sir J. 
Burgoyne having confined himself to Roumelia, 
with the exception of a visit to the camp of Omar 
Pacha.' 

Powerful as is the navy of this country, both 
royal and mercantile, the arrangements for the 
shipment of troops and artillery were very defective 
when the war began ; the old system had fallen 
into disuse since the end of the former war, and 
had not been succeeded by anything of better 
character. There is the authority of Captain 
Milne, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, for the 
statement, that in February 1854 the Admii-alty 
had not a single transport-ship in its service : the 
duties of the transport-service being performed by 
the comptroller of the Victualling Department. 
A Transport Board was established later in the 
year, in connection with the Admiralty ; but at 
the period now under notice, the whole system was 
in utter confusion. Sir James Graham, first Lord 
of the Admiralty, afterwards gave evidence, that 
' requisitions to the Admiralty used to come from 
seven different quarters occasionally from the 
Secretary of State as to the embarkation of men ; 
frequently from the Horse Guards, after consulta- 
tion with the Secretary of State ; from the Board 
of Ordnance, in reference to the embarkation of 
artillery and engineers ; then from the Treasury, 
as to the commissariat; from the Secretary at War, 
for the medical supplies ; and then a double 
requisition from the Board of Ordnance, sometimes 
as to ammunition, aud sometimes as to stores. I 
found the inconveniences arising from that state 
of things to be so great, that I represented strongly 
my opinion that it was absolutely necessary that 
these various requisitions should be brought to a 
common centre ; and I suggested to the Secretary 
for War, that day by day the requisitions should 
be fiated and approved by him, and that when so 
approved, it should be the ,duty of the Transport 
Board to carry them out.' 

The government being almost wholly unprovided 
with means of transport to the East, tenders were 
sought from such shipowners as would undertake 
the service. As a means of dispatch, steamers 



were preferred to sailing-vessels; and thus an 
enormous amount of steam-power was speedily 
called into use. This, however, was so costly, that 
sailing-vessels were mostly selected as transports 
for artillery and heavy stores; and it was planned 
that there should be an incessant passage of such 
transports to and from the Levant, as rapidly as 
the voyages could be made. The government 
applied to seventeen steam-navigation companies 
for aid in respect to steamers, and to individual 
shipowners in respect to sailing-vessels. The 
withdrawal of many steamers from the various 
mail-packet routes, consequent on these urgent 
demands of the executive, occasioned for many 
months considerable derangement in the postal 
service. Some of the transports thus taken up 
were engaged with the question of payment left 
to arbitration, under a clause of the mail-packet 
contracts, which empowers the government so to 
hire vessels belonging to the steam companies; 
while others Avere engaged at a certain sum per 
month. During the month of February, the 
Admiralty was called upon to furnish means of 
transport for 509 officers, 10,933 men, 272 women, 
12 children, 1598 horses, 750 tons of camp-equipage, 
850 tons of baggage, 989 tons of ordnance, and 
1088 tons of provisions. Small as an army of 
10,000 or 12,000 may be, it becomes here evident 
how enormous is the weight to be moved when 
such an army is provided with all its accompani- 
ments; and when it is further considered that 
the whole had to be transported to a distance of 
3000 miles to reach the Black Sea, the magnitude 
of the undertaking is sufficiently displayed. Under 
the dislocated arrangements of our transport- 
service, it was a work of great labour to despatch 
twelve steamers by the 20th of March, containing 
a little more than 10,000 officers and men. The 
stores were sent on two plans : in the first, a ship 
was hired at so much per ton for the voyage, 
and it was the interest both of the government 
and the shipowner that the voyage should be 
completed as quickly as possible ; on the other 
plan, the ship was hired at so much per month, 
insomuch that the owner had no especial motive 
to expedite the voyage. The authorities preferred 
the former of these plans, but were often obliged to 
adopt the latter, particularly in respect to the large 
steamers. A sum of about 50s. per ton per month 
was the usual average rate at which the govern- 
ment hired steamers ; and thus a steamer of 2000 
tons burden, employed in carrying troops to the 
East, cost the country at the rate of ,5000 per 
month. The government would have found it 
much cheaper in the end to have purchased the 
vessels at once: but men were wanting; the pay 
is higher in the commercial navy than in the 
royal navy ; and anomalies would have been 
introduced by the entry of the transports into the 
rank of government vessels. Thus, the charge 
upon the nation was rendered higher because the 
available hands were too few. At a later period, 
however, the government purchased the Himalaya 



78 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



and tho Prince, two noblo steamers belonging to 
the licet of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam- 
navigation Company. 

But it was not alone in the means of transport 
that the war found England ill prepared. The ord- 
nance store had fallen t'> a low condition since the 
ioiiner war; and it was only by great exertions 
that it could be augmented during 1852. Lord 
Uanlinge, comnaander-in-chief, in affording infor- 
mation eoiieeniing the state of the artillery at the 
beginning of tho war, said : ' My first act, on taking 
oflice in March 1852, as Master-General of the 



Ordnance, was to examine into tho state of our 
artillery; and I found the number of guns, field- 
batteries for Great Britain, to be about forty or 
fifty, and those of the date of the battle of Waterloo. 
I proposed to Lord Derby's government, in a long 
memorandum, my reasons for considering that to 
be a dangerous condition for our artillery to be in, 
and I recommended that 300 guns, and two wagons 
to each gun, should be immediately prepared. 
Lord Derby's government assented to that proposal, 
which was carried into effect by the succeeding 
government.'* When the ordnance came to be 




LOBD RAGLAN. 



despatched to the East, vessels were freighted 
especially for this service ; and Avith every gun 
were sent the men, horses, ammunition-wagons, 
and stores requisite for one gun, in order that, 
\vlicn landed, each consignment or detachment 
might be complete in itself. With 24 guns were 
; itched from Woolwich 42 officers, 1090 men, 
961 horses, and 124 ammunition-wagons. 

The English army itself, taken in its totality, 
had fallen into an ill-organised state during a peace 
of forty years. It was not enough that conquests 
had been made in India, China, Birmah, Kaffir- 
land; it is not by such conquests that an army 
can be maintained in the discipline and habits 
of European warfare ; and, indeed, most of these 
eonquests were made by troops belonging to the 
East India Company, calling forth only a small 



amount of service from the queen's troops. At the 
beginning of 1854, the British army, besides the 
Guards composing the Household Brigade, con- 
sisted mainly of 100 regiments of the line, including 
the rifle brigade, together with 8 local corps. The 
cavalry, including 7 regiments of dragoon-guards, 
made up 23 regiments. The artillery numbered 
14 battalions. The 23 regiments of dragoons, light 
dragoons, dragoon -guards, hussars, and lancers, 
together with the horse-guards and 2 regiments of 
life-guards, supplied about 12,500 sabres; the regi- 
ments of the line, with the grenadiers, Coldstreams, 
fusileers, and rifles, amounted to about 105,000 
infantry. Making allowance for certain deductions, 
the effective army, at the end of 1853, scarcely 

* Evidence : Sebastopol Committee. 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OF THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



exceeded 100,000. It received, however, two 
augmentations, shortly before the commencement 
of the war, of 10,000 and 15,000 ; and in that state 
it comprised about 4600 commissioned officers, 9000 
non-commissioned officers, and 114,000 privates. 
These were independent of a few colonial corps, 
such as the Ceylon Rifles, the Canada Rifles, the 
Malta Fencibles, &c., making about 6000 or 7000 
more. The artillery, comprising horse-artillery, 
foot-artillery, engineers, and sappers and miners, 
numbered. about 17,000 men at the close of 1843; 
but about the time of commencing the war, the 
number had augmented to nearly 19,000. Glancing 
at the widely spreading British dominions, we 
become forcibly struck with the fact, that England 
can have little to spare for European warfare out 
of such a force. The 30,000 queen's troops in 
India may bear a small ratio to the Company's 
army of 250,000 men ; but they constitute a serious 
deduction from the imperial army. Then, all the 
various colonies must be so circumstanced as to 
command military aid when necessary. The 
commander -in -chief must think of Gibraltar, 
controlling the entrance to the Mediterranean; 
of Malta, the small but important military position 
in the middle of that sea ; of the Ionian Islands, 
in such near proximity to Turkey and Greece ; of 
the Cape of Good Hope, and its neighbour the 
Mauritius ; of the rapidly growing Australian 
colonies; of the isolated but influential positions 
at China, Singapore, and Ceylon ; of the colonies 
which occupy so large an area in North America ; 
of the scattered West India Islands all required, 
when the war broke out, a share of military 
protection from the mother -country. When, 
therefore, the announcement was made that 
10,000 men would bo despatched to Turkey, to 
be followed by 12,000 or 15,000 more, it was felt 
to be a great draught from the British army, 
however small to contend against so gigantic a 
power as Russia. 

This British portion of the Allied army was 
placed under the command of Lord Raglan, who, 
as Lord Fitzroy Somerset, had during many 
years been military secretary to the Duke of 
Wellington. The Duke of Cambridge, the Earls 
of Cardigan and Lucan, Generals Brown, Evans, 
England, Bentinck, Scarlett, Campbell, Penne- 
fatlier, were among the chief officers appointed to 
the expedition. 

Great was the excitement when the several 
regiments began to leave our shores for their 
destination in the East. So long a time had elapsed 
since the din and turmoil of war had been heard 
in England, that a new generation had sprung up, 
whoso knowledge of the costs and horrors of 
warfare was little other than traditionary. Two 
months elapsed before any cavalry left England, 
for there was long a doubt whether it would be 
transported through France, or round by way of 
Gibraltar ; but the infantry began to depart at 
the end of February a month before the actual 
declaration of war. As regiment after regiment 



embarked, cheers, tears, good wishes, high hopes, 
accompanied them. The Fusileers, quartered in 
the Tower, were among the first to depart ; and 
when the cavalcade, headed by the band playing 
inspiriting airs, emerged from the old fortress, and 
threaded its way through the busy streets of the 
metropolis, countless thousands watched and greeted 
the soldiers as they passed not that all understood 
the real nature of the quarrel which was to issue 
in battling ; for many of the soldiers could never 
comprehend why they were called upon to fight 
against an emperor, merely because that emperor 
had behaved wrongfully towards the sultan. 
Setting politics aside, however, the troops, actuated 
by an esprit de corps, departed cheerfully for the 
East, resolved to maintain the honour of their 
flag and country in any contests in which they 
might be engaged. Southampton was one of the 
chief ports of departure ; and the military value 
of railways was fully experienced in the facility 
with which troops were conveyed from London 
and the heart of England to that port. Cork was 
the chief place of embarkation for the troops 
despatched from Ireland. Liverpool was another 
scene of active operations. The embarkation 
of the 88th was one only among many exciting 
scenes which that town displayed during the early 
spring. The regiment arrived at Liverpool by 
railway from Preston, and marched through the 
streets to the landing-stage. The troops were in 
high spirits ; but there was the usual drawback to 
their enthusiasm. ' A number of women, the wives 
and sweethearts of the men, were taking their 
adieus ; and it was most painful to witness their 
unrestrained grief, and the efforts of the men to 
comfort them. A few minutes before one o'clock, 
the order was given to march ; the band playing 
several bars of St Patrick's Day, and the multitude 
cheering heartily as they set out. In defiling 

through the streets old men, women, and 

young boys, jostled with each other, and struggled 
for the honour of shaking hands with the troops, 
who were greeted with good wishes from all sides.' 
The Ripon steamer was one of the first which 
conveyed troops to Malta, on their way to the East. 
This fine vessel, belonging to the Peninsular and 
Oriental Steam-navigation Company, made the 
passage from Southampton to Gibraltar in five 
days. On each morning, the men were exercised 
at Minie-rifle shooting, firing at a target hanging 
from the end of one of the ship's yards ; while in 
the evening, soldiers and sailors joined in dancing 
and singing. As with the Grenadiers on board 
the Ripon, so with the Coldstrcam Guards on 
board the Orinoco, all went well, under the care 
of the commanders of those vessels. It was on 
the 22d of February that these two vessels, accom- 
panied by the Manilla, received detachments of 
the Household troops at Southampton ; and on the 
23d, all three started for Gibraltar, in the midst of 
a rough sea, which tried the patience and good- 
humour of the men. A space of fourteen inches 
is ' man-of-war's allowance ' for the width of 



80 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



hammocks ..n h,,.-ird ship, but the Guards were 
allowed ckhtcen inches; and this half-yard was in 
mam- instance! a troubled region of sea-sickness. 

Malta Keeaine a scene of strange excitement. 
Steamer after steamer arrived during the month 
( ,f March, bringing consignments of troops, until 
the little island was almost filled to repletion. 
Yalrtta, the chief town, became busy as a fair; 
and the Maltese made a fine harvest on the occa- 
sion. Hoidcs the three steamers already named, 
the Niafl<tr, the Himalaya, the Vulcan, the Emu, 
the Kangaroo, the Simoom, and the Valctta, succes- 
sively arrived ; and as the troops conveyed in 



these vessels were landed at Malta, the military 
throng became very great. It was a fine achieve- 
ment of that magnificent steamer, the Himalaya 
at that time the largest ship in the world to bring 
1500 men from Plymouth to Malta in seven days ; 
and, indeed, the steamers belonging to the several 
companies invariably eclipsed the few belonging 
to the government employed in this service. 
Among 10,000 or 12,000 soldiers, thus conveyed in 
a small number of steamers, some complainings 
and rcpinings were to be expected. In one vessel, 
the provisions were badly cooked ; in another the 
government steamer Simoom the machinery went 




VALETTA. 



wrong, and the voyage was rendered very tedious. 
For the most part, however, the men landed at 
Valetta in high spirits ; and those who had money 
to spend, whether officers or privates, met with 
little difficulty in so doing. Every Maltese work- 
man found immediate and incessant employment, 
to supply the numberless little wants of so large a 
body of persons. 

The provisioning of this unoccupied army became 
a matter of much importance. That the troops 
were idly detained at Malta for many weeks, was 
a subject of regret both to officers and men ; and 
:-evtre strictures were made both at home and 
abroad on the government, concerning the enforce- 
ment of this idleness. The delay was occasioned 
partly by the indecision of the home authorities, 
and partly by the necessity of acting in concert 
with the French; bn t, explained as it may be, the 
lung detention at Malta was injurious to the object 
in view, which would have been better secured by 
an earlier advance from that island to Gallipoli or 



Constantinople. In a former paragraph, the Duke 
of Newcastle's arrangement is adverted to, whereby 
it was expected that if 10,000 men were despatched 
to Malta by swift steamers, they might be for- 
warded thence to Gallipoli by sailing-vessels ; while 
the steamers returned to England for 10,000 more, 
which would in that case proceed direct to the 
Levant without landing at Malta. The plan might 
perhaps have been judicious ; but it does not 
explain the unprofitable detention of the first 
lt),000 at that island. The commissariat officers 
were incessantly engaged in providing for the 
wants of these troops. The regiments arrived 
more rapidly than these functionaries were pre- 
pared for them; and it was alleged, in defence, 
that the instructions sent out from England were 
tardy and insufficient. Sometimes coal, sometimes 
lamps and candles, sometimes the more important 
items of food and forage, were deficient in quantity 
at the tents of the camps. The livestock on the 
island diminished very rapidly when the troo/s 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OF THE WESTERN POWERS: 1854. 



81 



were added to the resident population, and the 
commissariat officers \vere despatched to Tunis 
to purchase oxen. Biscuit was made and baked 
at the rate of 30,000 pounds per day, partly for 
present consumption, and partly to accumulate a 
supply for the East. There was a kindliness of 
intention, if not a skilfulness of application, in 
many of the government arrangements. For 
instance, about the middle of March, a Treasury 
minute was issued, whereby directions were given 
to the commissariat department for supplying the 
troops with malt liquors, preserved potatoes, choco- 
late, coffee, tea, sugar, rice, and Scotch barley for 
broth. These articles of diet were in addition to 
the ordinary rations of bread and meat, and to be 
supplied in detail at their nearest wholesale cost, 
without payment of duty, and excluding inconve- 
nient fractions, thus leaving the public to bear 
the expense which would be incurred for freight, 
packing, and other incidental charges.* The 
regulations under which these different articles 
were to be delivered in bulk by the com- 
missariat to each regiment, and then distributed 
in detail, were left to the commander-in-chief to 
determine his duty being, to fix a limit to the 
quantity allowed to officers and men, in order 
that the boon thus conferred might not be con- 
verted to other purposes than the soldiers' benefit. 
The importance of this precaution was pointed out 
in the Treasury minute, it being very naturally 
presumed that in the article of beer, especially, the 
predilections of our troops were likely to undergo 
no change from service in the East. The fulfil- 
ment of this minute, however, was scarcely rendered 
available until after the troops left Malta. 

About the end of March, Sir George Brown, 
one of the officers to whom the management of 
the expedition was intrusted, landed at Malta ; 
and arrangements were forthwith made to transfer 
the troops from that island to Gallipoli. The 
last-named town is a seaport on the Straits of the 
Dardanelles. It is situated in a peninsula which 
juts down southward from the mainland of Turkey, 
bounded on the east by the Dardanelles, and on 
the west by the Gulf of Saros or Xeros. The sea 
distance from Malta to Gallipoli is about 750 miles, 
round the southern point of Greece, and threading 
a way between the numerous islands forming the 

* The following Tabular Statement shews the supplies provided, 
the oust -price, and the rate of proposed charge : 









R:.', ,,f 


Articles. 


Quantities 

Provided. 


Cot-price. 


Proposed 
Charge to the 








Troop* 


Porter, 


64,800 gals. 


35s. per bar. of) 
36 gals. . / 


3d. per qt. 


Pale Ale (for the 
Officers) , 


| 2,700 


40s. per barrel. 


4d. , 


Preserved Potatoes, 


50,000 Ibs. 


ad. per Ib. 


ad. per Ib. 


Chocolate, . 


10,000 


1, 16s. percwt. 


4d. 


Coffee, . 


80,000 


61,'10s. per ton. 


6id. 


Tea, . 


8,000 


Is. per Ib. 


Is. 


Sugar, . 


100,000 


1, Is. 6d. per cwt. 


2d. 


Rice, . 


200,000 


26, 10s. per ton. 


3d. 


Scotch Barley for 
Broth, . 


| 10,000 " 


14s. 6d. per cwt. 


lid. . 



Grecian Archipelago : having the kingdom of Greece 
on the west or left hand, and Asia Minor on the 
east or right hand. To this place it was, during 
April, that the British troops were conveyed from 
Malta, in consignments or detachments of such 
magnitude as the ships available could accommo- 
date. Mrs Young better known by her earlier 
name of Mrs Postans, as the authoress of various 
works relating to India who was at Malta and 
Gallipoli during this stirring period of 1854, has 
given a lively description of the scenes which 
preceded and accompanied the embarkation. 
' After passing about a month in this fashion 
all racket and arrival at Valetta, all bustle and 
confusion in the harbours, all anxiety and dis- 
traction at the barracks the order came for 
the gallant regiment to advance. Then came a 
scene baffling all description. The square within 
the fine new barracks of Vedcrla was crowded 
with Maltese, trying hard to dispose of baggage- 
animals of all descriptions the blind, the halt, the 
spavined, the vicious donkeys, mules, horses, 

ponies Then the packing, the exchanging, 

the selling superfluous comforts ; the collection of 
a few standard edibles; the saddles to be mended 
at the last moment ; the tin dinner-services of 
two plates, one dish, and a drinking-cup to be 
made complete; the camp bedsteads and stools 
to be selected; the parading, the drumming, the 
orders and counter-orders; the private frying of 
bacon and eggs for officers' breakfasts often by 
the officers themselves on the most doubtful fires, 
and in the most unworthy frying-pans; and, at 
last, the embarkation on board the Vesuvius 
steamer ! The crowding, the discomfort ; the 
luxury of one officer, who was allowed to lie on 
the floor in the surgeon's cabin, with his feet under 
the chest of drawers ; the misery of another, taken 
on board so ill as to be scarcely considered out 
of danger for the voyage ! But at last it ended ; 
and at sunset of the 6th of April, away steamed 
the Cyclops, with her troublesome burden in tow, 
to arrive in a dreadful snow-storm in the Darda- 
nelles, and to land at Gallipoli in as much misery 
as the newly arrived on Turkish soil perhaps ever 
endured. Of this, however, I was not a personal 
witness, intending, as I eventually did, to follow 
in the wake of the grande armte by some more 
tranquil means.'* 

With more or less of such discomforts as usually 
accompany landsmen when afloat, the 10,000 
British soldiers were conveyed from Malta to the 
Dardanelles ; and 10,000 or 12,000 more were 
afterwards conveyed from England without an 
intermediate detention at Malta. 

It becomes necessary now to notice the French 
preparations for war, coincident with, and in 
furtherance of, the operations of their Allies. 

When the war was about to commence, the 
French newspaper Le Pays gave a detailed 
account, apparently from trustworthy sources, of 

* Our Camp in Turkey, and the Way to it, p. 13, 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



the organisation and amount of the French army 
at that time. According to this document, the 
directing or controlling power of the army consisted 
of ;i 'general staff, a staff corps, and a private staff 
fur tlu- artillery and engineers; there were in it 
7 marshals of France, 80 generals of division, 160 
L'ciierals <>f brigade, and 560 officers of the staff, from 
the rank of colonel to that of lieutenant. The 
bulk of the army, consisting of infantry, cavalry, 
artillery, and engineers, was thus constituted: 
The infantry was composed of 100 regiments, of 
3 battalions each ; 20 battalions of foot chasseurs ; 
3 regiments of Zouaves and 2 of the foreign 
legion, with 3 battalions; 3 battalions of native 
sharpshooters; 3 of African light infantry; and, 
lastly, a few companies of veterans. The 100 
regiments of the line could afford immediately 
2 battalions of 1000 men each, and had also 
the means for recruiting with a third battalion 
from the reserve. The 9 battalions of Zouaves, 
the 6 of the foreign legion, the 6 of the sharp- 
shooters and of the light infantry, were on a 
war-footing, and could ftirnish from 20,000 to 
25,000 men ready at once to enter on a campaign. 
Of the 20 battalions of the foot-chasseurs, 10 
were organised, and 10 in course of organisation ; 
they numbered 1200 men each, able to give 
war-battalions of 1000 men. The force of the 
French infantry ready to enter on a campaign, 
while leaving good staffs of regiments at their 
depots in France, was thus estimated at 240 
war- battalions, or 240,000 men. The cavalry 
was composed of 12 reserve regiments, 20 of 
cavalry of the line, 20 of light cavalry, all with 5 
squadrons ; and 8 regiments of light cavalry 4 
of African chasseurs, 3 of Spaliis, and 1 of Guides 
with 6 squadrons. The mounted troops gave, 
consequently, 300 squadrons. Each of the 52 
regiments, with 5 squadrons, could immediately 
furnish 4 war-squadrons of 130 horses each ; and 
the 8 regiments, of 6 squadrons, 700 horses each. 
Thus the force of the cavalry ready to enter on 
a campaign was estimated at from 32,000 to 35,000 
sabres, leaving, to keep up the regiments, the fifth 
squadrons, of good cadres and of young horses. The 
artillery was composed of 14 regiments, of 16 
batteries ; and in addition, 1 regiment of ponton- 
niers, of 12 companies ; 13 companies of military 
workmen ; 4 squadrons of flying-artillery ; and 5 
companies of veteran artillerymen. The force of this 
artillery, ready for battle, was 360 guns, and from 
28,000 to 30,000 men, including the flying-train. 
The engineers formed 3 regiments, with 2 battalions 
each, or 6000 men. The total force of the army 
able to enter at once on a campaign was, conse- 
quently, nearly 300,000 men and 60,000 horses ; 
while the military organisation of France provided 
the means of raising this army to a much higher 
number, if occasion required. The above analysis 
referred to the beginning of the year 1854 ; but 
levies were soon afterwards made, which increased 
the disposable force at the service of the 
government. 



The course of strategy marked out by the French 
government, doubtless with the concurrence of 
their English allies, was embodied in the instruc- 
tions w r hich the Emperor of the French drew up 
for the guidance of Marshal St Arnaud, to whom 
the command was given. The chief paragraphs 
of these instructions, which were dated the 12th of 
April 1854, were the following : 

' In placing you, marshal, at the head of a French 
nrmy, to fight at a distance of more than 600 leagues 
from our mother-country, my first recommendation is 
to have a care for the health of the troops, to spare 
them as much as possible, and to give battle only after 
having made sure first of, at least, two chances out of 
three for a favourable result. 

The peninsula of Gallipoli is adopted as the principal 
point of disembarkation, because it must be, as a 
strategical point, the basis of our operations that is to 
say, the place d'armes for our depots, our ambulances, 
our provision-stores, and whence we may with facility 
either advance or re-embark. This will not prevent 
you on your arrival, should you deem it advisable, from 
lodging one or two divisions in the barracks, which 
are either to the west of Constantinople or at Scutari. 

As long as you are not in presence of the enemy, 
the spreading of your troops cannot be attended 
with inconvenience, and the presence of your troops 
at Constantinople may produce a good moral effect ; 
but if, perchance, after having advanced towards the 
Balkan, you should be constrained to beat a retreat, it 
would be much more advantageous to regain the coast 
of Gallipoli than that of Constantinople ; for the Russians 
would never venture to advance from Adrianople upon 
Constantinople, leaving G0,000 good troops on their 
right. If, nevertheless, there should be the intention 
of fortifying the line from Kara-su, in front of Constan- 
tinople, it should only be done with the intention of 
leaving its defence to the Turks alone ; for, I repeat it, 
our position would be more independent, more redoubt- 
able, when on the flanks of the liussian army, than if 
we were blockaded in the Thracian peninsula. 

This first point established, and the Anglo-French 
army once united on the shores of the Sea of Marmora, 
you must concert measures with Omar Pacha and Lord 
Raglan for the adoption of one of the three following 
plans : 

1. Either to advance to meet the Russians on the 
Balkan. 

2. Or to seize upon the Crimea. 

3. Or to land at Odessa, or on any other point of the 
Russian coast of the Black Sea. 

In the first case, Varna appears to me the 
most important point to be occupied. The infantry 
might be taken there by sea, and the cavalry more 
easily, perhaps, by land. On no account ought the 
army to go too far from the Black Sea, so as to be 
always in free communication with its fleet. 

In the second case, that of the occupation of the 
Crimea, the place of landing must first be made sure of, 
that it may take place at a distance from the enemy, 
and that it may be speedily fortified, so as to serve 
as a point tfappui to fall back upon in case of a 
retreat. 

The capture of Sebastopol must not be attempted 
without at least half a siege-train and a great number 
of sand-bags. When witliin reach of the place, do not 
omit seizing upon Balaklava, a little port situated 
about four leagues south of Sebastopol, and by means 
of which easy communications may be kept up with the 
fleet during the siege. 

In the third case, my principal recommendation is 
never to divide your army ; to march always with all 
your troops united, for 40,000 compact men, ably 



FORCES AND STRATEGY OF THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



83 



commanded, are always an imposing force ; divided, on 
the contrary, they are nothing. 

If compelled, on account of scarcity of provisions, to 
divide the army, do so in such manner as always to 
be able to unite it on one point within twenty-four 
hours. 

If, when marching, you form different columns, 
establish a common rallying-point at some distance 
from the enemy, that none of them may be attacked 
singly. 

If you drive back the Eussians, do not go beyond the 
Danube, unless the Austrians enter the lists. 

As a general rule, every movement must be concerted 
with the English Commander-in-chief. There are only 
certain exceptional cases, where the safety of the army 
might be concerned, when you might act on your own 
resolution.' 

Toulon and Marseilles were the Southampton 
and Liverpool of France in the busy spring of 
1854. France being more extensively a military 
power than England, and being nearer the scene 
of action, it was from the outset agreed that the 
French army in the East should be more numerous 
than the English, while the English fleet was to be 
more numerous than the French. The French, 
having a much more complete military organ- 
isation than ourselves, proceeded in their plans 
systematically and quickly. Toulon and Marseilles, 
the two great French ports in the Mediterranean, 
became alive with military and naval preparations. 
The harbours crowded with shipping ; the quays 
laden with military stores ; the barracks filled with 
soldiers; the hotels occupied by officers about to 
embark ; the cavalry horses located in temporary 
stables; the artillery gradually approaching the 
place of embarkation ; dealers and venders of all 
kinds making a harvest during the sunny-time of 
prosperity ; men volubly discussing and actively ges- 
ticulating ; messengers and aids-de-camp hurrying 
to and fro, to receive and communicate orders all 
tended to make these southern French ports foci of 
intense activity and excitement. It was about the 
end of March when the embarkation commenced. 
The French troops were packed on board ship 
more closely than their English allies, in reference 
to the number of troops to the tonnage of each 
vessel. One screw-steamer, the Jean Bart, received 
1200 soldiers, besides the crew necessary to navigate 
it. The first convoy, of about 20,000 troops, was 
despatched in six or seven divisions, as follows : 
5400 men in the Montebello, Alger, Jean Bart, and 
Vttle de Marseilles ; 3450 men and 225 horses in 
the Asmodee, Ulloa, Labrador, Coligny, Meteore, and 
Gorgone ; 1495 men and 40 horses in the Mouette, 
Eclaireur, Laplace, and Infernal; 1130 men and 
20 horses in the Caffarelli, Veloce, and Brandon; 
3040 men in the Napoleon and Suffren ; 4663 men 
and 80 horses in the Montezuma, Panama, Albatross, 
Canada, and Titan ; and the rest in the CJiristophe 
Colombo. The whole of these yessels sailed within 
a few days of each other ; and further contingents 
took their departure at a later date. The men 
were mostly despatched from Toulon ; the cavalry 
horses, munitions, provisions, and articles for 
encampment, mostly from Marseilles, at which 



port more than 300 vessels were freighted for their 
conveyance. 

Malta, by an arrangement between the two 
governments, was adopted as a midway resting- 
place for a few French troops, in addition to the 
English who had arrived; and thus the little 
island became still more vivacious and bustling. 
The Christophe Colombe and the Mistral, which had 
left France on the 19th of March, arrived at Malta 
on the 23d, bringing General Canrobert, General 
Bosquet, General Martimprey, about 50 other 
officers, and 800 or 900 soldiers. It was a strange 




French Soldiers and Zouave. 

scene to the men. Malta had never before been 
trodden by English and French troops at the same 
time, except during the heat and passion of war ; 
and the soldiers now gazed at each <.ther with 
intense curiosity. The dress of the Highland regi- 
ments was a wonder to the French troops ; while 
the Arab-like Zouaves of the French were no less 
an object of attention to the English. But curiosity 
and wonder soon gave place to enthusiasm ; the 
troops 'fraternised' to use a favourite French 
term with great heartiness, and the national 
anthems, God Save the Queen and Partant pour la 
Syrie, were exchanged from ship to ship, and band 
to band, in complimentary style. The Zouaves 
were originally a tribe of Arabs, in or near the 
regency of Algeria. When the French effected an 
occupation in that country, some of the Zouaves 
agreed to join their army; and being active, 
fearless, and dashing fellows, they became great 
favourites ; young Parisians joined their corps, 
although in distinct companies ; and by degrees 



84 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



there was established a regular branch of infantry 
under the name of Zouaves French in composition 
hut Aral, in dress, and fitted for ?, particular kind 
i.l'MTvirc in active warfare. The Zouave dress is 
picturesque an open, simply ornamented jacket 
of blue clnlh, faced with red ; an umlcr-tunic of 
red, descending to the hips; a broad silken sash 
coiled round the waist; dazzling scarlet pantaloons, 
\crv full above the knee, and gathered in folds 
just below it; embroidered yellow leather greaves, 
rovering the leg from the knee to the ankle; a 
re< I It'/, cap, with a roll of cloth at the edge to 
protect the head such was the dress of the sun- 
burnt Zouaves, upon whom the British troops gazed 
in the harbour of Valetta. The full-pan talooned 
Zouave and the kilted Highlander might well 
scrutinise each other with some curiosity. 

The sojourn of the French at Malta did not 
amount to a residence. A troop-laden ship would 
anchor in the harbour of Valetta for a day or two ; 
and the officers and a few men would take advan- 
tage of the opportunity to exchange civilities with 
their allies. The beginning of April found French 
as well as English soldiers tossing on a frequently 
stormy voyage towards the Dardanelles. The 
officers reached their destination in many ways 
some via Marseilles and Malta, some by way of 
Vienna and Trieste, while others took the sea-route 
from Southampton to Gibraltar and the Levant. 
Not only was Malta a central point, touched upon 
by many regiments both of the French and English; 
but it was rendered available in some respects as a 
depot for the British fleet in the Mediterranean, 
and was visited also by the French admirals. 
Added to this, it was a station at which mail- 
steamers stopped on their way from Southampton, 
Gibraltar, ami Marseilles, in one direction ; and 
from Trieste, Constantinople, Syria, and Alexandria, 
in the opposite direction. Hence, nothing could 
exceed the turmoil, activity, money-spending, 
polyglot loquacity, and belligerent speculations, 
of which Malta was the scene during the spring 
of 1854. 



PROCEEDINGS AT GALLIPOLI, PERA, AND 
SCUTARI. 

A strange scene, too, was presented to the quiet 
Turks, when the Allies soon afterwards took posses- 
sion of Gallipoli. The singular oblong peninsula, 
the Thracian Chersonese,* forming one side of 
the Dardanelles, is well fortified, to maintain the 
rights of the Porte in respect to the passage of 
ships through those straits; thus, Bovali Kalessi, 
Kiamleh Kalessi, Dyrmen Bounoun, Killis Bahar, 
Kamasieh, and Seetil Bahar, are all fortified posts 
in the Chersonese, near the southern mouth of 
the Dardanelles, mounting from 200 to 300 

rooks frequently applied their name for a peninsula 
m pfoirraphy. Thus, Thracian Ohertontsut was the 
name lor the i peninsula now under notice; while the Crimea was 
the Ibttrtca Chersonesus. 



guns, and faced by a line of yet more strongly 
armed forts on the opposite or Asia-Minor side 
of the straits. Higher up, however, where the 
straits terminate in the Sea of Marmora, and 
where Gallipoli is situated, military arrangements 
are less prominent ; and the 12,000 or 15,000 
inhabitants of that town a medley of Turks, 
Greeks, Armenians, and Jews occupy themselves 
with a peaceful trade in corn, wine, oil, and fruit. 
Such a place, then, could not have been otherwise 
than disturbed by an impetuous rush of military 
men from the West. 

The French preceded, by a brief interval, their 
English allies in their arrival and encampment at 
Gallipoli; or, rather, although both continued to 
arrive for some weeks, a French regiment was the 
first to make a landing. One consequence of this 
soon appeared. War is more a matter both of busi- 
ness and of pleasure to a Frenchman than to an 
Englishman ; in accordance with this tendency, the 
French troops made their new home comfortable 
in a very brief space of time ; and in so doing, 
appropriated the best of everything, leaving 
inferior accommodation to the English who were 
to follow them. It was not simply an exempli- 
fication of the proverb, ' First come, first served ;' 
but those who came first were better able, by their 
previous habits, to make the best of that which 
was available. 

By the first week in April, 4000 French troops 
were encamped in and near Gallipoli, under the 
command of General Canrobert; and, to assist them 
in fortifying the peninsula a plan at one time 
proposed, but only partially carried out a body 
of English sappers were employed. It was on the 
5th of the month that the Golden Fleece anchored 
off Gallipoli, bringing the first contingent of the 
regular British army ; and by the 21st, there Avere 
no fewer than 22,000 French and 5000 English 
soldiers in the peninsula, cooped up in quarters 
ill prepared for their reception. There is a defi- 
ciency of water near the town ; and for this and 
other reasons, partly strategical, a camp was 
formed at Bulair (Blejar, Boulehar, Bulari), seven 
or eight miles higher up the peninsula than 
Gallipoli, and overlooking the Gulf of Saros. 

Gallipoli presented at that time a motley spec- 
tacle to the troops who successively arrived. The 
elements of the East and the West were there, 
mingled in utter confusion. Possessing all the 
characteristics of a Turkish town narrow, crooked 
streets, dilapidated houses, filthy roadways, pic- 
turesque mosques and bazaars it had also the 
living accompaniments of such a town. Turks 
squatting on their shop-boards, smoking their 
pipes, and marvelling why the English and French 
are always in such a hurry; women with their 
veiled faces and yellow-booted feet, gliding along 
the streets ; children rolling about and glorying in 
the mud ; dogs, large, shaggy, fierce, and dirty, 
picking up the offal which scavengers should have 
removed such was Turkish Gallipoli. Then 
there were the Greeks, Jews, and Armenians, who 



PROCEEDINGS AT GALLIPOLI, PERA, AND SCUTARI : 1854. 



85 



constitute a large portion of the population, each 
in his national costume. To these were added 
the red-coated English soldier, the neat and quiet- 
looking rifleman, the kilted Highlander, the 
crimson-trousered Frenchman, the dashing Zouave, 
the officers seeking about for their quarters in the 
tumble-down houses of the town. The Turkish 
population looked upon all this in quiet amaze- 
ment wondering why so many English and French 
soldiers should thus settle down at a place so far 
distant from the Danube, where Omar Pacha at 
that very time would have been glad of their aid. 



The English officers and men complained seriously 
of the discomforts to which the imperfect arrange- 
ments of the home-government subjected them. 
The very first day was enough to dishearten them ; 
for when the Golden Fleece arrived, there was no 
pilot to shew her where to anchor, no one came 
off to her from' the shore, no British flag shewed 
that she was expected and welcomed, no British 
consul or interpreter was at hand ; and when, on 
the following morning, the officers landed, they 
had to learn that horses were scarcely obtainable ; 
that food was dear ; and that the French had 







GALLIPOLI, 



secured all the best localities in and near the town. 
Rustum Pacha, the Turkish governor, effected all 
that good-will could accomplish ; but he could not 
render Gallipoli suddenly capable of accommo- 
dating twice its ordinary number of inmates. The 
French found quarters in the Turkish part of the 
town, and the English in the Greek that is, 
the latter did so after having been cooped up two 
days and a half in the Golden Fleece in Gallipoli 
harbour : a thousand soldiers having been so 
circumstanced, because no sufficient arrangements 
had been made for receiving them on shore. It 
did not improve the temper of these men to see, 
during these two or three days, French vessels 
arrive and land their contingents of troops with 
ease and celerity. 

At a later date, when complaints reached the 
home-government, direct denials were frequently 
given in parliament concerning their truth ; and 
from these denials, together with the details of 
evidence given before a Committee of the House of 
Commons many months afterwards, it appears 



that the discomforts ought not to have been expe- 
rienced, if the different parts of the government 
machine had been fitted for harmonious working ; 
but it was this want of harmony which lay at the 
root of the evil. The Duke of Newcastle, when 
examined by the Sebastopol Committee, was asked 
whether, in his capacity as minister of war, he had 
sought information as to the capabilities of Turkey 
to furnish supplies for the wants of the army; to 
which he replied : 

' Directions were given to the commissariat officers, 
who were sent out at the very commencement on the 
7th or 8th of February. Inquiries as to the capabilities 
of the country were not, in the first instance, made in 
Bulgaria, but were confined to Roumelia the first 
object being to send troops to Gallipoli. Commissary- 
general Smith was sent from Corfu, he being to a 
certain extent acquainted with the languages of the 
East, Greek and Italian. He had provided, I believe, 
generally speaking, sufficient supplies before the arrival 
of any troops at all at Gallipoli. It was in conse- 
quence of the recommendation of Sir J. Burgoyne, on 
strategical grounds, that Gallipoli was occupied ; that 
officer's opinion being confirmed by that of Colonel 



86 



COMMENCEMENT OP HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



Ardent, who had been sent by the Emperor of the 
Fri-ncli for a similar purpose. 

What steps were taken to prepare for the reception 
of troops at Gallipoli ? Instructions were given to the 
commissariat, who were informed of the number of 
troops for whom they would have to provide. 

Dili you receive information that they had provided 
for the wants of the army when it came ? I did not 
receive any such information from the commissariat 
directly. It was not then under me. The commissariat 
corresponded with the Treasury, and from the latter 
department I received information of its movements. 
I should say vast supplies of all kinds were sent from 
England. 

What supplies did you expect to find in the country 
where the army was to be sent? Principally fresh 
meat, and, of course, bread to the greatest extent to 
which it could be obtained. In apprehension of the 
possibility of the supply of bread there failing, a large 
supply of biscuit was sent out from this country. 

As to forage for horses ? I considered that ought to 
be provided in that country, but provision was never- 
theless made for sending out hay from England. I 
apprehend none of that hay was landed at Gallipoli, as 
it was sent from here in sailing-vessels, which would 
not arrive until after the troops had left Gallipoli. No 
cavalry was landed at that place. 

But the infantry had all their wants supplied .at 
Gallipoli ? At first there were complaints ; but, to the 
best of my recollection, more of want of transport than 
of provisions.' 

This minister was further asked, whether there 
had not been a great want of means of transport 
at Gallipoli. His reply was : ' I cannot say. It 
was undoubtedly the duty of the commissariat to 
provide such transport as was needed ; whether 
they have any justification, I cannot say. My 
impression is, that there had been considerable 
difficulty in procuring animals in that part of 
the country, although there was none nearer to 
Constantinople. I was not aware of any difficulty 
having arisen, until I received an intimation of 
it through a private source.' 

Sadly frequent were the instances, in the earlier 
months of the war, in which the British officials 
at home were ignorant by whom instructions 
ought to have been given ; and equally ignorant 
whether the instructions, when given, had or had 
not been properly carried out. 

As more and more troops arrived at Gallipoli, 
new camps were formed outside the town ; and in 
these camps the superiority of the French commis- 
sariat arrangements was speedily exhibited, in the 
better supply of the men with tents, food, fuel, and 
medicines. The French landed with their baggage- 
trains, and conveyed their stores to the camping- 
ground with great quickness ; the English had to 
seek for vehicles and animals of draught before 
they could move. The commissaries worked 
actively and willingly ; but they were too few in 
number ; and had not the advantage of a well- 
organised system to work upon. Such, in like 
manner, was the case with the medical department 
of the British troops at Gallipoli ; the surgeons were 
few ; and there was unaccountable delay or neglect 
in forwarding the medicine- chests from Malta. At 
a time when the 4th, 28th, 44th, 50th, and 93d 



regiments were all in or near Gallipoli, as well as 
the rifle-brigade and many sappers and engineers, 
any dislocation in the commissariat and medical 
departments was sure to be felt with some severity 
and dissatisfaction. Soldiers have a tendency to 
make the best of circumstances as they arise; 
yet many such letters as the following, from an 
officer of the 50th, found their way into the English 
newspapers during the spring of 1854 : 

1 CAMP, GALLIPOLI, April 18. 

Our encampment is very wretched, and hardly any- 
thing except the men's rations to be got to eat; no 
beer, or anything but rum "one gill," the same as 
the men. The commissariat is dreadfully managed : 
nothing of any sort. The French have everything 
horses, provisions, good tents, and every kind of pro- 
tection against contingencies. To-morrow morning, 
we march at six o'clock to another encamping-ground, 
where we are to throw up trenches, and to remain for 
two months ; it is about seven miles from this place ; 
the ground is beautifully situated, overlooking the Bay 
of Gallipoli. It would be a good lesson to some of our 
government to take a lesson from the French : the care 
and attention paid to their troops are perfect. I had 
to purchase a mule, and pay 11 for him. Everything 
is dear. I cannot get any tea to drink ; I should have 
found it a great comfort. The streets are horrible, and 
the town is bad. I never saw anything to equal it 
anywhere. We are all obliged to sit on the ground, 
and eat what we can. My breakfast consists of a piece 
of brown bread no butter, and no milk ; and till 
yesterday our men got no breakfast. We get eggs, 
and they are the only things to stand by at present, 
as the meat served out is so bad no one can touch it. 
We have no potatoes, or any other kind of vegetables, 
except onions. It is really more than a joke, and all 
owing to the very bad management of our commissariat 
department.' 

Here we see that the commissariat, whether in 
fault or not, had to bear the burden of censure 
a burden which those officers deemed exceed- 
ingly unjust. A private in one of the regi- 
ments wrote home thus : ' The French are one 
hundred years in advance of us in regard to 
military equipments for the field. We are loaded 
like packhorses, with our knapsacks, cross-belts, 
with sixty rounds of ammunition, haversack, and 
an article termed a " canteen," shaped like a butter 
firkin, which would wear out a pair of trousers in 
a month. We were nicely fooled at home as to 
getting all the things furnished to us at about cost- 
price. We were to get the best London porter at 
4d. per quart I have not seen a drop of porter 
since I came here.' This 'London porter' grievance 
was bitterly dwelt upon by the men ; owing to 
clumsy management, the casks of porter were 
far away from the spot where the beverage was 
needed. 

The main bulk of troops remained idle several 
weeks in and near Gallipoli; but some of the 
regiments, as lately mentioned, sought quarters 
at Bulair. The idleness was, however, not shared 
by the engineers or sappers, who were employed 
in forming a series of field-works and intrench- 
ments across the peninsula. Much diversity of 
opinion seems to have existed concerning the 



PROCEEDINGS AT GALLIPOLI, PERA, AND SCUTARI : 1854. 



87 



policy of this arrangement ; for, irrespective 
of the improbability that the Russians would 
penetrate so far southward, there was a deficiency 
of wood and water in the Chersonese ; and, more- 
over, most of the provisions for the commissariat 
had to be brought from the Asiatic side of the 
Dardanelles. Be the explanation what it may, 
however, the camp of the sappers and miners, and 
of two infantry regiments, was on the gentle slope 
of a ridge between Gallipoli and Bulair, about 
seven miles from the former and three from the 
latter. Near Bulair, the peninsula narrows to an 
isthmus less than three miles in width, between 
the Dardanelles and the Gulf of Saros ; intrench- 
ments and earthworks were carried across this 
isthmus, and a fort constructed about midway in 
the line, for the defence of the position. English 
and French troops worked in turn, to construct 
these defensive posts ; and by degrees there 
appeared a trench 7 feet deep by 13 broad at 
the top, with a parapet and banquette formed of 
the earth dug out of the trench. The 28th and 
44th British regiments were quartered near these 
works. Their camp consisted of streets of bell- 
tents. The French camp was not far distant ; and 
there were daily rounds of visitings between the 
troops of the two nations. The extreme novelty of 
the alliance raised a doubt in some minds concern- 
ing the light in which the soldiers would regard 
each other ; and Lord Raglan deemed it prudent 
to issue the following order : ' The commander of 
the forces avails himself of the earliest opportunity 
to impress upon the army the necessity of main- 
taining the strictest discipline ; of respecting persons 
and property, and the laws and usages of the 
country they have been sent to aid and defend ; 
particularly avoiding to enter mosques, churches, 
and the private dwellings of a people whose habits 
are peculiar and unlike those of other nations of 
Europe. Lord Raglan fully relies on the generals 
and other officers of the army to afford him their 
support in the suppression of disorders; and he 
confidently hopes that the troops themselves, 
anxious to support the character they have 
acquired elsewhere, will endeavour to become 
the examples of obedience, order, and of attention 
to discipline, without which success is impossible, 
and there would be evil instead of advantage to 
those whose cause their sovereign has deemed it 
proper to espouse. The army will, for the first 
time, be associated with an ally to whom it has 
been the lot of the British nation to be opposed in 
the field for many centuries. The gallantry and 
high military qualities of the French army are 
matters of history ; and the alliance which has 
now been formed will, the commander of the 
forces trusts, be of long duration, as well as 
productive of the most important and the happiest 
results. Lord Raglan is aware, from personal 
communication with the distinguished general 
who is appointed to command the French army, 
Marshal St Arnaud, and many of the superior 
officers, that every disposition exists thrcmgh their 



ranks to cultivate the best understanding with the 
British army, and to co-operate most warmly with 
it. He entertains no doubt that Her Majesty's 
troops are animated with the same spirit, and that 
the just ambition of each army will be to acquire 
the confidence and good opinion of each other.' 
Any doubt on this matter was speedily dispelled ; 
the troops greeted each other heartily on all 
occasions ; and, indeed, the ' fraternisation' was 
at times so excessive, that a Zouave and a High- 
lander on one occasion partially exchanged 
dresses under the influence of an exhilarating cup, 
and appeared at muster the next morning in 
strange motley kilt and baggy red trousers having 
changed places. 

The sojourn at and near Gallipoli, while it 
shewed that the organisation of the various 
departments of the French army is more complete 
than that of the English, revealed also the fact, 
that the French private soldier is a better manager, 
a better caterer, than the English. He knows 
how to make the best of such supplies as are 
obtainable ; how to provide ingenious substitutes 
for such appliances as may be wanting. In or 
near Bulair, the English troops suffered many 
annoyances through defects in the commissariat, 
which they had not adroitness enough to remedy ; 
whereas the French hunted about for eggs, caught 
tortoises, gathered herbs, and prepared dishes and 
' potages,' which perfectly astonished their Anglican 
neighbours. The French soldier is encouraged in 
the practice of numerous employments and con- 
trivances, which render essential service during 
the precarious events of a campaign. 

The month of May was far advanced before any 
considerable number of the troops made a move 
from Gallipoli towards the scenes of warfare in 
the Black Sea. There had been a long detention 
at Malta ; there was now a long detention at 
Gallipoli. The necessity for fortifying the country 
around Gallipoli seems to have been overrated ; 
and thus the labours of many weeks were ren- 
dered of no avail. The Turks marvelled greatly at 
the proceedings of the English and French. Omar 
Pacha was at that time maintaining a desperate 
struggle with the Russians on the banks of the 
Danube; and it was fully expected by the Osmanlis, 
that their western Allies would have advanced at 
once to Shumla or Silistria, to assist them in their 
heavy trial. But the generals were in communica- 
tion with the ambassadors at Constantinople ; the 
ambassadors were in correspondence with the 
diplomatists at Vienna ; the diplomatists were 
receiving instructions from London, Paris, Berlin, 
and St Petersburg ; and thus military operations 
were retarded by the obscure and fluctuating 
course of diplomacy. The officers, for the most 
part, arrived in the East long after the troops. 
Sir George Brown, on the part of the English, and 
General Canrobert, on the part of the French, 
accompanied the earliest contingents to Gallipoli, 
towards the close of March, to prepare the en- 
campments ; but the commanders and the princes 



88 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



arrived much later, and, in most cases, steamed on 
towards their quarters at Constantinople without 
st..]i|.iiis,' at (iallipuli. *>n the 22d of April, Sir 
i!i- Lao; i:\ans and start' arrived; on the 23d, 
General* Kii'.'land and stall"; on the 2d of May, 
1.,.1-d K:i<-rlan and Lord dc Kos ; a day or two 
afuT\\ ar<ls, J'rinco Jerome Napoleon; on the 7th, 
Marshal St Arnaud ; on the 9th, the Duke of 
Cambridge, llcviews and inspections, courtesies 
and visitings, followed these arrivals : pleasant in 
themselves, but absorptive of fine days, which 
.should have been appropriated to active operations 
further north. 

As we have traced the two armies from the 
English and French shores to Malta, and from 
Malta to Gallipoli ; so does it now become neces- 
sary to follow them to Pera and Scutari, where 
another detention awaited them. 

At this point it is desirable to attend a little to 
the topography of the region around Constanti- 
nople ; for, on the one hand, it is well to know 
why other nations have so eagerly sought to 
possess this magnificent locality ; and, on the other, 
a knowledge of the topography is essential to a 
due comprehension of the relations which Con- 
stantinople bears to the Dardanelles and Gallipoli 
on the south, to Scutari on the east, to Adrianople 
on the west, to the Bosphorus and Varna on the 
north. Constantinople is thirsted for by the 
Russians as gold by the miser: czar, princes, 
patriarchs, priests, nobles, serfs all inherit more 
or less the tendency to regard Constantinople 
as one of the great prizes which destiny has 
in store for Russia. The longing for this splen- 
did locality underlies many aggressive schemes. 
Whether the secret archives of France or Austria 
contain the outlines of any plan for the acquisition 
of the city of the Bosphorus, the world may 
perhaps one day know ; but that Russia has 
entertained such dreams, is as plain as noonday. 
The knowledge of this fact inspires dread in the 
rulers of other nations ; and it is thus that may 
be explained, in part, the perpetual interference of 
other powers in the affairs of Turkey. 

Never, perhaps, was there such another position 
for a commanding city. It controls the only 
outlet from the greatest of European lakes to the 
greatest of European seas ; for although the 
Euxine, under its modern name, is the Black Sea, 
it has most of the characteristics of a lake. Con- 
stantinople almost touches Asia ; for while the 
city itself is in Europe, Scutari, a sort of suburb, 
is in Asia ; they are separated by the channel of 
the Bosphorus. There can be little doubt that 
this Bosphorus is a mere rent in the land, caused 
by some geological convulsion, or by the impetuous 
rush of the waters of the Euxine to find an 
outlet ; if such be the case, Europe and Asia 
were once joined at this point. In commanding 
the Black Sea, Constantinople commands also 
the commerce of the fine wheat-growing countries 
on the northern margin of that sea, watered 
by the Don, the Dnieper, the Boug, the Dniester, 



and the Pruth. In the same way, and for the 
same reasons, Constantinople is the key which un- 
locks the treasures of the Danube and of Southern 
Germany ; the produce of Bavaria, Austria, 
Hungary, Servia, Wallachia, Moldavia, and Bul- 
garia, naturally seeks the Danube as the easiest 
and most profitable outlet; but this produce cannot 
leave the Black Sea for the Mediterranean unless 
Constantinople permit. Again, Constantinople is 
on the great highway from Europe to the regions 
of the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Indus a 
highway which, though superseded in great degree 
since steam-navigation developed its power, is yet 
followed largely by the Armenian, Greek, and 
Persian merchants. As if to render this extraor- 
dinary spot still more powerful as a commercial 
and political watchtower over the south-eastern 
corner of Europe, it has a second narrow strait 
almost under its immediate control. The waters 
of the Black Sea flow through the Bosphorus 
into the Sea of Marmora, or Marmara (the ancient 
Propontis), and thence into the Mediterranean 
through the narrow but deep channel of the 
Dardanelles (Hcllespontus). 

Is it, then, strange that nations should have cast 
a longing eye at such a commanding position ; or 
that struggles, both diplomatic and warlike, should 
have resulted from the wish to possess it ? 

The topography of Constantinople must be 
described in brief, as a means of rendering intel- 
ligible the positions which the English and French 
troops took up in May 1854. The city is built on 
undulating ground, fronting both the Bosphorus and 
the Sea of Marmora, at the southern extremity 
of a wedge-shaped promontory. The opposite 
coast of Asia is so near to the point of this wedge, 
that a boat can be rowed thither, across the 
Bosphorus, in a quarter of an hour. Exactly at 
the point, the wedge is split into two by the 
magnificent harbour called the Golden Horn, 
which runs up north-westward beyond the limits 
of the city. Thus the Turkish metropolis consists 
essentially of three distinct parts, all combining to 
form, one great city, although separated by channels 
of deep water : Constantinople, the city proper, 
frequently called Stamboul although this name is 
sometimes applied by the Turks to the entire 
city containing the Seraglio and the chief public 
buildings, is bounded on one side by the Golden 
Horn, and on another by the Sea of Marmora ; 
Pera, containing the residences of the foreign 
ambassadors, with Galata, the ' "Wapping' of 
Constantinople, and Tophane, a little higher up 
occupy the jutting peninsula bounded on one side 
by the Golden Horn, and on the other, by the 
Bosphorus ; while Scutari is in Asia, on the east 
side of the Bosphorus, and immediately opposite 
Constantinople. The whole, collectively including 
Pera, Galata, Tophane, Scutari, and Stamboul 
form the Turkish capital, and contain a population 
variously estimated at 700,000 to 3,000,000. Not 
only is the actual site of the city undulating, but 
it is bounded by higher ground landward. This 



PROCEEDINGS AT GALLIPOLI, PERA, AND SCUTARI: 1854. 



89 



character of surface imparts a beautiful appearance 
to Constantinople, and a degree of salubrity and 
cleanliness which would not otherwise exist in 
a city belonging to the Turks. Constantinople 
receives healthy breezes from all sides, and the 
steep slope of the streets assists in carrying off all 
filth into deep water. The depth of the water in 
the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and the Sea of 
Marmora, greatly increases both the magnificence 
and the practical value of the site. The occasional 
heavy rains, the abundant supply of pure water by 
means of aqueducts from artificial reservoirs ten or 



twelve miles inland, and the numerous public 
fountains, all tend towards the purification of the 
city. Notwithstanding the disappointment ex- 
pressed by travellers at the dissolving of many 
beautiful views when Constantinople is actually 
entered, it does not appear that the streets are so 
filthy as those in many other Turkish towns, except 
in the humbler trading districts near the water; 
although on other grounds there is sufficient reason 
for discontent at the mean and dilapidated appear- 
ance of most of the houses and buildings. There 
is only one really long street, extending from the 




TIIE BOSPHOEUS. 



high walls of the Serai or Seraglio to the Adrianople 
Gate ; all the rest are short, narrow, crooked, and 
comfortless. They have, too, a dull and deserted 
appearance. Indeed, this feeling of desolation is 
experienced in a remarkable degree at many 
points both within and without Constantinople 
remarkable considering the largeness of the 
population. Immediately beyond the magnificent 
city- walls built by the Greek emperors, but utterly 
neglected by their Moslem successors, the waste and 
solitude are at once observable, to which a sort 
of melancholy interest is imparted by the white 
marble tombs and dark cypresses of numerous 
cemeteries. Within the city, the narrow streets 
are rendered still more narrow by the projecting 
windows, latticed and closed most jealously ; or, 
if these be not present, the streets are rendered 
still more dull and irksome' to the eye by the 
absence of windows altogether, nothing being 
present to break the monotony but low and narrow 
doorways. So little tendency have the Turks to 
repair old buildings, that they have even left 



untouched the breach in the city-wall, through 
which the Ottoman army entered Constantinople 
400 years ago, when Sultan Mohammed conquered 
these regions from the Emperor Palseologus : 
the rent is simply fringed with straggling trees 
and brushwood. The old Greek structures in 
the city, too, have been allowed to fall utterly 
to ruin. One among many indignant writers has 
bitterly reproached the Turks for this matter. 
'Even the coldest philosopher,' he says, 'could 
scarcely lament the passing away of a race who 
never founded but one civilised empire in the 
world (Granada), and who, from the palsying 
influence of Mohammedanism, have done nothing 
for art, science, or literature, during the 400 
years that they have possessed, in wealthy 
leisure, one of the finest countries upon earth ; 
who have done worse who have suffered the 
sands to collect upon her storied monuments, and 
the pride of her palaces and towers to crumble 
into dust. Where stood the Forum of Constantine, 
the founder of the city, with its porticos and lofty 



90 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



columns of porphyry? Where is the colossal 
statue of Apollo, supposed to be the work of 
Phidias ? Where is the stately Hippodrome, with 
its statues and obelisks ? the Baths, with their 
threescore statues of bronze ? the Circus 1 the 
Theatres / the Schools 1 the marvellous treasures 
of antiquity, which would have been standing 
to-day had they fallen into other hands ? Alas ! 
cvrry one is destroyed, and the thoughtful traveller 
may look in vain for anything to remind him of 
the thousand glories of the past.' If the doom 
of Turkey were pronounced by an art-student, the 
race of Osman would unquestionably fall to rise 
no more. 

In respect to the accommodation for the Allies 
in the earlier months of the war, the waters around 
Constantinople were of much importance. The 
Golden Horn constitutes a splendid harbour safe, 
capacious, and beautiful ; and it is adequate to 
the accommodation of an enormous commerce 
far larger, it must be candidly confessed, than 
Constantinople is ever likely to have as a Turkish 
city. But it is the Bosphorus that affords the most 
magnificent prospect. Glowing descriptions without 
number have been given of the whole locali ty. The 
Earl of Carlisle supplies a lively sketch, not so 
much of the natural beauties of the Bosphorus, as of 
the celebrated points concerning which guides and 
interpreters have something to say. Under date 
of 10th August 1853, he has this entry : ' Steamed 
down to Constantinople. Mr Skene was with me, 
and made an incomparable cicerone for the 
Bosphorus, telling me the tenants of the long line 
of palaces, and their histories. This was the house 
of Mehemet Ali of Egypt. This is the house of 
his chief rival, old Khosrew Pacha, now living 
there at ninety-six ; he has filled the office of grand 
vizier for fifty years altogether, with various 
breaks, and still retains many of the simple habits 
of his origin as a Circassian shepherd. Here 
Darius Hystaspes crossed the strait on his Scythian 
expedition ; here he sat on the rock to witness 
the passage ; the inscription on the stone to com- 
memorate it, which was formerly known to exist, 
has not been discovered. The ground on either 
side is now occupied by the tall round white 
towers of the forts, the Rumili and Anatoli Hissars 
Castle of Europe and Castle of Asia : the first, 
built by Mohammed II. before the capture of the 
city, still goes universally by the name of the 
conqueror. From that window, or rather slit in 
the wall, he used to examine the means of 
approaching the capital. Under that low culvert, 
in the after-destination of the place as a prison, 
the bodies were floated into the Bosphorus. The 
European fort is built on the most fantastic plan, 
to imitate the Arabic letters of the word Moham- 
med. On one side is Balta Liman, on the other 
Uiikiar Skelessi, both famous in the annals of 
modern treaties. This rapid bit of current is the 
Sheitan Akindesi, or Devil's Current; so said 
to be called because a sultana had been angered 
by seeing a Christian congregation coming out 



of a church on a Sunday, and had immediately 
given orders for the destruction of the church ; 
whereupon, on her return, her boat was upset, 
and all saved but herself. It was in that long- 
spreading house in the bay that the sister of the 
present sultan, the wife of Halil Pacha, kept long 
watch over her boy, to avoid the law which 
doomed all the male children of the sisters of 
sultans to immediate death ; and when at last 
she found that the child had been strangled, she 
died herself from the shock very soon afterwards. 
This tragedy has happily put an end to the 
practice. That very long fagade is the house of 
Fuad EfFendi, whom Prince Menchikoff found 
the other day prime minister, and refused to 
visit.'* The earl, like most travellers, was struck 
with the contrast between the distant beauty and 
the near squalor of the Turkish metropolis. 
'On landing and walking up to Messiri's Hotel 
at Pera,' he says, 'I was struck far beyond 
my expectation with the ruggedness, the narrow- 
ness, the steepness, and the squalidness of the 
streets ; an impression which the extension of 
my walk through Galata (the old Genoese 
quarter) and Constantinople proper (Stamboul), 
materially aggravated. I could not see the close 
dwellings and bazaars, the mangy dogs, and the 
swarms of human kind, without wondering not 
that the plague has ever got there, but that it has 
ever got out again.' 

Such is the region, with its mingled beauties 
and deformities, towards which the English and 
French troops were conveyed on their way from 
Gallipoli to Varna. 

By agreement with the Turkish government, 
arrangements were made for the reception of a 
portion of the British troops in a large pile of 
buildings at Scutari, forming the new barracks ; 
while others were encamped at Unkiar Skelessi. 
The 33d, 41st, 49th, 77th, and 88th regiments thus 
found a temporary location on the east of the 
Bosphorus. One of the famous voyages of the Hima- 
laya was from Malta to Scutari, with 2100 souls 
on board a number perhaps unprecedented in 
the annals of sea-transit. When landed, the officers 
and men tried to while away the time as they best 
might still marvelling when and where they 
should meet the Russians, against whom they 
expected to have had to contend; some ran foot- 
races, and some played at cricket a game which 
many of the astonished Turks are said to have 
almost lost their senses in endeavouring to com- 
prehend. By the third week in May, the above- 
named regiments were further augmented by the 
7th, 19th, 23d, 30th, 47th, 93d, and 95th, together 
with the Rifles and three battalions of the Guards. 
Of cavalry, there was yet none ; and the artillery 
was rendered very incomplete by deficiency of 
horses. Lord Raglan and his staff had before this 
arrived, and frequent inspections of the troops took 
place. The weather was becoming hot ; the supplies 

Diary in Turkish and Greek Water', p. 111. 



PROCEEDINGS AT GALLIPOLI, PERA, AND SCUTARI .1854. 



91 



were frequently lax and insufficient ; and men 
and officers were desirous of pushing on to 
some scene of active exertion. The 55th regi- 
ment arrived to swell the numbers at Scutari ; 
and the cavalry officers also, but without the 
cavalry. 

The closing weeks of the month of May were full 
of excitement at Scutari. Lord Raglan's quarters 
a neat, but perfectly plain wooden building, 
situated on the beach, at a distance of half a mile 
or so from the barracks was the focus of general 
activity. Officers of all grades were hastening to 
and fro, receiving and communicating orders. 
The Turks and Greeks from Scutari were wont 
to squat on a grassy knoll near this house, and 
gaze on the high-pressure intensity of everything 
going forward the Greek, lively and inquisitive, 
the Turk lost in wonderment why men should 
move so quickly, and should give themselves so 
much trouble to serve others. The Guards were 
encamped near this spot ; the other regiments 
pitched their camps further inland; and near 
these camps a number of suttling-booths were 
established by Smyrniote Greeks, who obtained 
permission to drive a profitable trade in cakes, 
sweetmeats, lemonade, and sherbet to which 
stronger beverages were added when practicable 
without detection. The most wondrous specimens 
of horseflesh, almost valueless even as a gift, 
were vended for sale by worthies whose honesty 
was on a par with the merits of their beasts. Jew 
and Armenian money-changers, with their bags of 
gold and silver, completed the motley scene, in 
which English, Turk, Greek, Armenian, and 
Hebrew, were thus strangely mingled. 

On the Queen's birthday, 24th May, to keep up 
home-associations when far away, 15,000 British 
troops were paraded on the outskirts of Scutari, 
in the presence of a few Turks who cared suffici- 
ently about it to walk half a mile, and of a larger 
sprinkling of foreigners from the opposite side of 
the Bosphorus. Nearly all the principal officers 
were present, including Lord Raglan, the Duke of 
Cambridge, the Earl of Lucan, Sir George Brown, 
Sir de Lacy Evans, Sir Colin Campbell, and 
Generals Bentinck, Pennefather, Airey, Adams, 
Buller, &c. 

Meanwhile, the French had not been idle; 
although the activity was such as scarcely 
responded to the wishes of men who looked 
forward to the excitements of active service. 
Portions of the French army, under General 
Bosquet, after sojourning awhile at Gallipoli, 
proceeded to Adrianople. This city, the second in 
importance in Turkey, is situated in the fertile 
plains of Thrace, about 100 miles north of Gallipoli, 
and 150 west or north-west of Constantinople ; 
it is of considerable strategical importance, being 
at the point of confluence of the principal rivers of 
Thrace, and on the high road from Constantinople 
to the Balkan and the north-western provinces. 
The Allies, wavering between many plans, knew 
not whether it were better to act on the defensive 



or the offensive in Turkey; and, during this 
period of uncertainty, they deemed it well to 
occupy Adrianople. The French camp occupied 
an island formed by the two arms of the river 
Joungia, and also the left bank of that stream. 
General Bosquet enlivened the Adrianopolitans 
by many entertainments and field-days, during 
which the dashing Zouaves and Chasseurs 
d'Afrique excited no small degree of admiration. 
General Prim, a Spanish officer, who was pre- 
sent as a spectator at many of the incidents of 
the war, was one of the guests at Adrianople on 
this occasion. 

Large bodies of French troops were conveyed 
from Gallipoli up to Varna, without stopping at 
Constantinople, and without adopting the inland 
route via Adrianople. The means of transport 
possessed by the French were inferior to that which 
was available to their allies, so far as vessels were 
concerned one of the very few points wherein 
England held a superior position during the war. 
The English, even in the magnificent Himalaya, 
scarcely went beyond an accommodation for 1500 
or 1600 troops ; whereas the Euphrate, a steamer 
belonging to the Messageries Impe'riales, was 
employed to receive nearly an equal number in 
less than half the space. The French soldiers are 
said to have been ' packed close all around, like 
negroes in a Brazilian schooner ; ' the buoyant 
spirits of the men, however, maintained them 
in good-humour amid all the discomforts of the 
passage. 

It was at Constantinople, nevertheless, that the 
gay trappings of war, or rather of warriors, were 
presented with most effect to the gaze of the Turks. 
On one occasion, towards the close of the sojourn 
there, a review of the French troops was held in 
brilh'ant style. Marshal St Arnaud, Prince Napo- 
leon, and a staff of officers decked to the highest 
pitch of military splendour, proceeded to a plain 
situate between Daoud Pacha and Rumilsifilk, on 
the western or Adrianople road, whither marched 
the French troops from their temporary barracks 
near Constantinople, and whither the sultan and 
his courtiers also proceeded, to witness the spec- 
tacle. Cuirassiers, Spahis, Chasseurs de Vincennes, 
all turned out in their best; and their wheeling 
and deploying, their marching and countermarch- 
ing, delighted the sultan, as he galloped his magni- 
ficent black charger along the line. Whatever 
might be the moral or political equality of the two 
nations, there were many circumstances during the 
war which gave the French an exterior advantage 
over the English in the eyes of the Osmanli. The 
French studied effect. The Prince Napoleon, when 
he first landed, was dressed in full splendour, and 
surrounded by a brilliant staff; the Duke of 
Cambridge, when he touched Turkish soil, wore 
a round hat and a shooting-jacket ; and the 
Turks were driven to infer that the French prince 
must necessarily be a more important personage 
than the English. Travellers accustomed to Oriental 
ideas assert that it is not prudent to disregard 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



externals, when a stranger Avould convey an impres- 
sion of his dignity, rank, or influence : moral 
grandeur is less understood in the East than in the 
\V,M. Kes IT! ing, however, to the military inspec- 
tion outside Constantinople, the sultan had rarely 
appeared so delighted and animated as when he 
rode for tlircc- hours between the marshal and the 
prince ; he perhaps formed in his thoughts a 
irolden picture of the aid which such allies might 
furnish in reviving the strength and healing the 
wounds of the Osmanli. lie thanked the marshal, 
and expressed his regret that his imperfect know- 
ledge of the French language did not permit him 
to render justice to his feelings. Madame St 
Arnaud was on the ground in a carriage ; and the 
sultan paid her a degree of delicate attention 
which greatly astonished the Turks of the old 
school, who could not reconcile themselves to the 
idea of a Giaour, even though the wife of a 
marshal, being so condescendingly treated by the 
Padishah of All the Ottomans. The sultan invited 
the lady to take up her abode temporarily in his 
kiosk at Therapia, and to visit him at the palace 
a further departure from Oriental usages. The 
proceedings of this day at Constantinople, which 
immediately preceded the departure of the French 
troops from the neighbourhood of the capital to 
Varna, were regarded as among the most brilliant 
which the Turks have witnessed in modern times. 
They made a great impression at the time ; and 
they had a national and political importance, in 
so far as they indicated a tendency in the sultan 
and his court to adopt European habits and 
usages. 

During the brief sojourn in the neighbourhood 
of the Turkish metropolis, the English and French 
troops were on opposite sides of the Bosphorus. The 
English, as has been said, were encamped on the 
heights near Scutari ; while their allies occupied 
;i position at Mashlak, a short distance from Fera. 
Here arrangements were made for encamping 
50,000 men, if the plans of the Allies should lead 
to the location of so many French troops in that 
tjiiarter. One of the aqueducts which convey water 
to Constantinople was rendered available for the 
service of the camp. Pera became almost as much 
a French as a Turkish town, so busily was it 
occupied by the officers and soldiers of that nation. 
During several years past, the Turks, in so far as 
they have studied foreign languages, have attended 
to French rather than any other ; and French is 
beginning to supersede Italian among the motley 
groups of foreigners always to be found at Pera ; 
French merchants and dealers, too, have settled 
there in considerable number; and French fashions 
and usages are being adopted by the wealthier 
n:iiivos; insomuch that the French are, all things 
considered, more at home at Pera than the 
Knglish. By n happy stroke of ingenuity, the 
soldiers converted the designation 'Frank quarter' 
into ' French quarter,' as a general appellation for 
Pera as one component part of the Turkish 
metropolis ; and they behaved in many respects 



in a very frank fashion. An eye-witness described 
them as ' roaming through the halls of the sultan's 
new palace in their muddy boots ; while a Mussul- 
man submissively walked behind with a wet cloth 
to wipe the polished floor, which the Western 
warrior had dirtied at every step.' Nearly all the 
large public buildings in Pera were made over 
to the use of the French, together with some of 
those in Stamboul or Constantinople proper. The 
hills north of Pera were white with the tents of 
the French camp ; and the roads were covered 
with wagons and carts, each bearing its little 
tricolor-flag, or its board with the inscription, ( Armec 
.Frangaise? All the horses around were bought 
up ; and meadows were appropriated on the banks 
of the Bosphorus for the cattle and horses. In 
short, the French arrangements at Constantinople 
presented an aspect rather of permanent occupation 
than of temporary location. 

It was a time of rich emolument for the 
boatmen of Constantinople. French officers at 
Pera, and English at Scutari, interchanged courtesies 
as frequently as opportunity permitted : they had 
occasional recourse to the boatmen ; and the Turks 
themselves, intensely enjoying the lazy luxury, did 
likewise. A beautiful sight it is when the waters 
are speckled with caiques or kai'ks boats generally 
manned by two or three rowers. Darting across 
the Golden Horn, from Stamboul to Pera ; or 
across the Bosphorus, from Stamboul and Pera to 
Scutari ; or up the Bosphorus to Therapia, Buyuk- 
dere, Beikos, and other villages on its shores 
the caiques throw great life into the whole scene. 
Though slight, they are suited to the particular 
service required of them. Carrying no ballast, and 
being very light, these dancing, buoyant, tricksy 
caiques would speedily be capsized by a sudden gush 
of wind ; and hence the boatmen have acquired 
great dexterity in managing oar, sail, and helm, 
at such a time. War might possibly be a mis- 
fortune for Turkey ; but it was a source of profit 
to the Constantinopolitan boatmen, in bringing 
so many English and French officers to the shores 
of the Bosphorus. 

Here it may be well to advert to the fact, that 
Turkey is gradually experiencing the advantages 
accruing from steam-navigation ; and, moreover, 
that she possesses a supply of fuel in convenient 
proximity to the capital, available both for war- 
steamers and for ordinary traffic. There is a useful 
bed of coal at Kozlou, near Hcraclca or Erekli, in 
Asia Minor, about midway between the Bosphorus 
and Sinope. When the war commenced, the 
English and French governments each made a 
contract with the owners of these coal-mines, for 
the supply of several hundred tons per week, at 
a price somewhat less than a pound sterling per 
ton. The cost of coal brought from England was 
so enormous at Constantinople, that these Ileraclea 
pits became of essential service directly to the 
Allies, and indirectly to the sultan, who was to 
be benefited by those Allies. 
The pleasure-traffic of the Bosphorus, too, has 



VARNA: PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA : 1854. 



93 



been brought within the range of steam ; and the 
English and French officers, during their resi- 
dence in the Turkish metropolis, availed them- 
selves of the advantages thus offered. In addition 
to the caiques, there are now small steamers 
plying across the Bosphorus, and up and down 
between Constantinople and Therapia their 
decks rendered gay by the richly coloured 
dresses of the Turkish ladies, as well as by the 
picturesque costumes of Osmanlis and Greeks. 
One act of thoughtful kindness Avas much appre- 
ciated by the officers : the sultan placed at their 
disposal a pretty little steamer, cushioned with 
scarlet cloth, shaded by an awning, and supplied 
with refreshments ; this steamer crossed from 
Constantinople to Scutari at the even hours of the 
day, and from Scutari to Constantinople at the in- 
termediate hours ; and as the whole was provided 
at the sultan's expense, the officers were always 
certain of a convenient and costless means of transit. 
Many of the arrangements for the reception and 
accommodation of the English troops in Turkey, 
whether at Gallipoli or Scutari, seem to have been 
unfavourably affected by the circumstance that 
the Turkish language was but little understood by 
those employed. The following facts, mentioned 
some months afterwards by Commissary-general 
Smith, illustrate a few of the difficulties against 
Avhich the officers of the commissariat were called 
upon to contend. He Avas sent in March 1854 
from Corfu to Constantinople, to make arrange- 
ments preparatory to the arrival of the forces. 
He took with him an officer and two clerks. 
None of the party spoke Turkish, but the two 
clerks were well acquainted with Greek and 
Italian. Having been furnished by Sir C. Trevelyan 
(secretary to the Treasury) with credentials, imme- 
diately on arriving at Constantinople, he waited on 
Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who promised him 
every co-operation in his power. The Turkish 
government appointed an officer who spoke English 
to assist witness, but that person was so destitute 
of intelligence that he was quite useless. Lord 
Stratford de Redcliffe then gave him the assis- 
tance of his chief dragoman or interpreter ; and 
he had two interviews with the Seraskier Pacha 
as to the means of providing for an English 
army in Turkey, and the information he then 
received was generally of a satisfactory nature. 
Mr Smith further stated: 'It was not part of 
my duty to find barracks for the troops, but I did 
so that is, assisted in finding them. I had no 
indication of the place where the troops were likely 
to be quartered, but I suggested to Lord Stratford 
the necessity of getting the barracks at Scutari for 
them. He applied for and obtained them in the 
beginning of April. I visited them then, and 
found them in a better condition than Turkish 
buildings usually are. Commissary-general Filder 
arrived about the 21st of April, the troops having 
arrived before that date at Gallipoli.'* 

* Evidence : Sebastopol Committee. 



VARNA: PREPARATIONS FOR THE 
CRIMEA. 

The desultory proceedings of the Allies first 
at Malta, then at Gallipoli and Bulair, and then 
at Pera and Scutari having thus been traced, a 
further stage in the progress now awaits attention 
namely, the expedition to Varna. 

This Turkish seaport is on the western shore of 
the Black Sea, about 180 miles, sea-distance, from 
Constantinople, 160 north-east of Adrianoplc by 
land, and 100 south-east of Silistria. This last- 
named fortress, at the period to which the narrative 
has arrived, was under siege by the Russians ; and 
it was partly in reference to that siege that the 
advance to Varna was made. Varna bears a 
reputation similar to that wliich belongs to most 
Turkish towns : it is crooked, irregular, dirty, 
dilapidated, and unfitted for the due accommoda- 
tion cither of visitors or of mercantile dealers. 
And so the Allies found it, when military necessity 
led them to make it a temporary place of residence. 

The advance from Constantinople to Varna was 
commenced soon after the arrival of the Allies at 
the first-mentioned place ; for, whatever may have 
been the vacillations in council, a long detention 
in the neighbourhood of the capital did not enter 
as a component element into the plan. About the 
middle of May, the Turkish minister of war, 
Riza Pacha, steamed up to Varna, as did likewise 
the Allied generals and admirals, with a view of 
holding a council of war with Omar Pacha, either 
at that place or at Shumla, Omar's head-quarters. 
The Turkish generalissimo was known to be 
exceedingly anxious that the Allies should advance 
to Silistria, then deemed to be in a precarious 
state ; or, supposing him to advance with rein- 
forcements from Shumla to Silistria, his hope was 
that the Allies would occupy the country between 
Shumla and Varna, thereby cutting off any 
threatened advance of the Russians from the 
Dobrudscha to the neighbourhood of Constanti- 
nople. "Whatever may have been the imperfect 
acquiescence in Omar's plans in other respects, an 
advance to Varna was speedily resolved upon ; 
and the camps of the Allies the British near 
Scutari, and the French near Pera soon became 
alive with busy scenes of embarkation. 

The last week in May witnessed the commence- 
ment of this sea-journey for the troops. More 
regiments had come up from Malta and Gallipoli, 
and a large fleet of transports was ready in the 
Bosphorus, between Pera and Scutari. There was 
a wharf or landing-place at Scutari, surprisingly 
good in the e}-es of the Turks, but rickety and 
inefficient in the estimation of those accustomed to 
the convenient piers and quays of Southampton 
and Portsmouth, of Marseilles and Toulon. Officers 
superintending the carriage of stores and equip- 
ments from the camp to the wharf; sappers and 
miners busily engaged in fitting up horse-boxes 
on board the transports ; boatmen paddling about 



94 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



in hundreds, conveying casks of water and barrels 
and packages of provisions; buffalo-carts making 
tuilsomc journeys to and fro between the elevated 
camp and barracks and the sea-shore; aids-de- 
camp galloping or walking hither and thither 
such was the busy scene, at which the Turks 
looked on with their wonted apathy. Some of 
tiir transports were despatched northward with 
M..IVS <"'l. v - while others were fitted up for the 
accommodation of troops. 

Mr Russell, an able correspondent of the Times, 
was in a position, even at so early a stage in the 



history of the war, to detect numberless defects in 
the organisation of the British military in the East 
not in the willingness of officers and men to 
fulfil their duties bravely and efficiently, but in the 
preparations made by the home-authorities. In 
reference to some of these defects, he remarked 
in one of his letters: ' Who was the wise man who 
warned us in time of peace that we should pay 
dearly for shutting our eyes to the possibility of 
war, and who preached in vain to us about 
our want of baggage and pontoon-trains, and 
our locomotive deficiencies? Kb outlay, however 










VARNA. 



prodigal, can atone for the effects of a griping 
penuriousness ; and all the gold in the Treasury 
cannot produce at command those great qualities 
in administrative and executive<lepartments which 
are the fruits of experience alone. A soldier, 
an artilleryman, cannot be created suddenly, no 
matter how profuse may be your expenditure in 
the attempt.' The miseries which resulted from 
imperfect administrative organisation, developed 
themselves still more forcibly as the war advanced. 
The same writer proceeded with his strictures thus : 
' It Avould be a great national blessing if all our 
political economists [meaning, of course, economists 
who are politicians, for assuredly the political 
economist is not necessarily a votary of frugality] 
-"uld be caught and enlisted in this army at 
Scutari for a month or so, or even if they could 
!>- provided with temporary commissions, till 
they have had some practical knowledge of 
the results of their system.' This might be a 
correct reproof, if the arguments of the econo- 
mists, or the alleged 'griping penuriousness' of 



the parliament and the nation had brought below 
a proper level the amount of supplies furnished 
annually for the united services ; but such has not 
been the case. The grants for the army, navy, 
and ordnance, taken collectively, during the thirty- 
eight years of peace from 1815 to 1853, were amply 
sufficient for the due development and maintenance 
of every arm of the service, had they been better 
distributed ; but wasteful extravagance and inju- 
dicious management in some departments dissi- 
pated the funds which might have provided all the 
necessities in others ; and thus, while new ships of 
war were being constantly built, and unused ships 
constantly rotting in the harbours, the supplies 
were squandered which should and could have 
provided all that was required in transports, 
gun-boats of light draught, pontoon-trains, baggage- 
trains, and other necessities of warfare. The tax- 
payers and the legislature have been amply liberal 
in these respects ; but the managers of the complex 
machine have not duly adjusted the several parts 
of which the machine consists. 



VARNA : PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA : 1854. 



95 



To return to the embarkation for Varna. Sir 
George Brown and a few other officers preceded 
the troops, to superintend the arrangements for 
their landing. The light brigade, on the 29th of 
May, struck their tents with wonderful celerity, 
packed them on carts or arabas drawn by cattle, 
formed into order, marched down to the beach, 
and embarked in the vessels, some sailing and 
some steamers, prepared for their reception. The 
scene was full of animation. The 7th and 23d 
Fusileers, the Connaught Rangers, the rifle-brigade, 
the 33d, 77th, 19th 6000 or 7000 men in all 
embarked, and passed on their way up the beautiful 
Bosphorus towards Varna. Ten steamers and nine 
sailing-vessels thus received their living freights. 
Onward they went, between and amongst the 
numerous caiques, and in sight of the pretty villas 
and villages which deck the borders of the 
Bosphorus. 

Arrived at Varna, near which the Allied fleets 
were then stationed, the troops were assisted in 
their disembarkation by the ships' boats ; and 
when the month of June opened, the small 
British army was safely located on the shores of 
Bulgaria that is, the portion of the army thus 
despatched from Scutari in the first instance. 
The steamers and transports returned to the 
Bosphorus for other consignments ; while further 
reinforcements were sent from Malta or from 
England without an intervening stoppage in the 
straits. 

The arrangements made at and around Varna 
comprised a temporary camp near the town ; 
another at Aladyn, nine or ten miles distant ; and 
a third at Devno or Devna, eighteen or twenty 
miles inland from Varna. A few of the regiments 
stopped temporarily at Aladyn, while others 
marched up to Devna immediately on landing. 
Omar Pacha had provided an immense number 
of horses, oxen, buffaloes, and carts, to assist in 
conveying stores and provisions from the shore to 
the camps ; and very speedily the roads were 
rendered full of life by the passage to and fro of 
hundreds of teams. The camp at Aladyn was 
fixed at a spot near a small lake ; but the water 
of the lake was impure one of many minor 
troubles which the troops were called upon to bear 
as best they might. Provisions were moderately 
good and cheap at Varna, for the officers who 
had the means of making purchases ; but the 
troops depended on the commissariat, and knowing 
that many promised comforts, including London 
porter, had not yet made their appearance, the 
men were less satisfied than if no such promises 
had been made. The soldier's life on active service 
is affected by numberless contingencies, which 
necessity compels him to meet ; nevertheless, he 
feels more indignantly any privations due to the 
want of skill or of attention -on the part of his 
own government, than such as may be traced to 
actual collision with an enemy. One of the com- 
forts, almost necessities, of the commissariat at 
such a time was a supply of fresh vegetables, 



which the commissaries had much difficulty in 
procuring ; and another deficiency was in medi- 
cines and medical comforts, concerning which 
there was much confusion at Malta, Gallipoli, 
Scutari, and Varna. 

Busy with military proceedings was the whole 
vicinity of Varna. As regiments passed onward 
from that town to Aladyn and Devna, so did new 
comers take their places. Early in June, the 
Himalaya made one of her wonderful voyages 
having brought a military load from Cork to 
Varna in twelve days, without detention at any 
intermediate port, without discomfort to the men, 
without injury to the horses. She brought three 
or four hundred men of the 5th Dragoon Guards, 
with all their horses : these being the first British 
cavalry which landed. The transport of cavalry is 
always one of the difficult achievements in the 
prosecution of war in a distant country arising, 
in great part, from the susceptibility to injury on 
the part of the horses. Many horses belonging to 
the British cavalry were lost in the Black Sea, not 
so much in the passage to Varna, as in the passage 
from thence at a later date. Diversity of opinion 
has existed concerning the best mode of stowing 
cavalry horses on shipboard. One plan, exten- 
sively followed by Hull shipowners in their horse- 
trade with the Baltic, allows more room for each 
horse than the government plan ; but the trans- 
port officers assert that a plan adopted by the 
government is better fitted for cavalry horses 
during a long voyage. Whatever be the relative 
merits of the two plans, there were a few horses 
lost in the Black Sea by being placed on the upper- 
deck ; a storm came on, the poor animals broke 
loose, and were speedily washed overboard. The 
point, however, most conclusively proved was the 
superiority of such a steamer as the Himalaya in 
providing a quick and easy passage for horses as 
well as men. When she arrived at Varna with 
the dragoons and their horses, the latter were 
landed by means of large boats, and a sort of 
stage built over two paddle-box boats lashed 
together ; they were lowered from the ship on 
this stage, and were towed to a short pier; here 
they were picketed for the night on a bit of turf 
close to the beach, and next day they set off to the 
inland camp. The horses were in such admirable 
condition, owing to the careful stalling and feeding 
they had enjoyed, that the military men were 
forcibly struck with the superiority over the ordi- 
nary arrangements. The dragoons, who were well 
pleased to see their horses thus treated, applied to 
the Himalaya the frolicsome designation of ' Her 
Majesty's floating mews.' 

Little did the troops expect, when landed at 
Varna, that seventeen weeks of detention awaited 
them. The delays already experienced had 
wearied the men, who now fully expected a 
resumption of active service ; but the middle of 
September arrived before opportunity for such ser- 
vice presented itself. Under these circumstances, 
the salubrity of the place became a consideration 



96 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



of more importance than had at first been 
supnuse.l. Varna, Aladyn, and Devna, proved 
to l,o loss favourable than the quarter-master's 
lepartment bad expected. The camp at Aladyn 
was on a hill, at the foot of which arc meadows 
\\atered bv a small fresh-water lake; and the 
iVviin eanip was also near a lake, which imparted 
something of picturcsqueness to an otherwise 
\\il.l scene; but the hot days of June, July, and 
Au-ust, shewed that the lake and meadows 
sources of much sickness and disaster. 



Varua itself, said one of the officers who was 



not Avell pleased with his quarters, 'is such 
a town as only could have been devised by 
a nomadic race aping the habits of civilised 
nations. If the lanes are not so painful to walk 
upon as those of Gallipoli if they are not so 
crooked and inexplicable if they are not so 
rugged and fantastically devious it is only 
because nature has set the efforts of man at 
defiance, and has forbidden the Turk to make a 
town built upon a plain as unpleasant to peram- 
bulate as one founded on an irregular surface.' 
The town is built on a slightly elevated bank of 




Himalaya Steam-ship. 



sand, on the northern side of a semicircular bay, 
about a mile and a half in depth, and two miles 
across. The land is so low at the bottom of this 
semicircle, that the fresh waters from the neigh- 
bouring hills form a lake, which extends for some 
distance through the marshy lands and plains 
that run westward towards Shumla. General 
Canrobcrt, who had derived much experience from 
Algerine campaigning, expressed doubts when he 
visited the English camps concerning the salubrity 
of the spot, which seemed to him exposed to 
liability of malaria and its attendant agues and 
fevers. 

The sand-bank whereon Varna is built varies so 
much in its elevation, that whereas in some places 
the base of the city-wall is twenty or thirty feet above 
tin; sea-level, at others it sinks to the level of high- 
water. This wall, about ten feet high, is of stone, 
loopholed ; and landward of it are some detached 
butteries, well provided with heavy guns. On the 
Mrfrce <>f ilie wall are two batteries of earthworks 
and fascines, and two heavy stone parapets and 



embrasures, all supplied with cannon of large 
calibre. As viewed from the sea, the town pre- 
sents a huge jumble behind the wall of red-tiled 
houses, speckled with mosques and minarets. 
Opposite the town are three small wooden jetties; 
while a portion of beach between the sea and the 
wall, a few yards in width, serves as a landing-place 
for boats and barges. When the Allies arrived, 
this beach was encumbered with tens of thousands 
of shot and shells, for artillery of all dimensions. 
And here, as at Gallipoli and Scutari, the Turks 
who were not actually engaged looked on in great 
wonderment at the activity of their western Allies. 
This characteristic, however, was less marked than 
it had been at the two places just named ; for 
Varna, being situated in Bulgaria, contains rela- 
tively few Turks, being chiefly those in some 
way employed by the government. The native 
inhabitants Bulgarians of the Greek religion 
arc wholly a different race, and sympathise more 
readily with the Greeks of the south than with 
the Osmanli. / 



MAP OF 

' BAiTl-C MA, 

C U L f Of / J fl 1 A fl i) , C ATT D A7 Ac. 



Sralr ,4 I ,,Ji-l. l.|. 
O |0 ' 40 M 



A s - 



fates 

by dots, and ths ri 




-m-i 

W. & K . C ILXilBE RS LOXD 




nivodi -JO 






iiis v"i?.--r. 
buc .vtr 



VARNA : PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA : 1854. 



97 



The troops having arrived in large number in 
Varna and its neighbourhood, the town speedily 
put on some such appearance as Gallfpoli had 
presented when similarly invaded by the warriors 
from the West. The dealers Avrotc inscriptions on 
strips of gaudy-coloured calico, in English, French, 
Turkish, or Greek, and hung them up in front of 
their open stalls or shops, to denote that beer or 
spirits or other comforts were on sale within. Most 
of the shops, indeed, were windowless ; and in 
front of them Avere passing and repassing, loitering, 
chattering, bargaining, and purchasing, endless 
groups of Chasseurs, Zouaves, English military 
servants, interpreters, cantinieres, Greeks, Smyr- 
niotes, Italians, French, Turks, Bashi-Bazouks, and 
a motley group of dirty vagabonds, whose origin 
and country were not very apparent. Gallipoli 
and Scutari had been profitable places to hundreds 
of itinerant dealers; and when the regiments 
successively advanced from those towns to Varna, 
the dealers followed them, with the intent to 
open shop in that locality in the same primitive 
style as before. Hams, pickles, tongues, brandy, 
biscuits, saddles, confectionary, wine, preserved 
soups and vegetables, crockery all found their 
way to the open shops and bazaars at Varna. 
The costumes were as diverse as the wares and 
the languages : shakos, Highland bonnets, Avidc- 
awakcs, turbans, fezzes, Guernsey-frocks, haver- 
sacks on officers' backs, jackets of all colours and 
shapes all Avere to be seen in the busy streets of 
Varna ; and an eye-witness speaks of ' a captain 
in a crack English regiment riding through the 
sally-port Avith a bottle protruding from his pocket, 
a haversack containing tea and sugar over his 
shoulder, and a large mat rolled up behind his 
saddle.' 

By the end of June, the neighbourhood of Varna 
had become one vast camp of 60,000 English, 
French, and Turks ; Avhile 300 vessels lay at anchor 
in Kavarna Bay. ready to ship English troops from 
Varna, or French from Baltschik. "When the news 
reached Varna that the siege of Silistria was raised, 
all hopes of sharing the honours of beating the 
Russians in that quarter were dissipated ; and 
officers and men began then to speculate on the 
probable future before them. The route which 
the Russians had taken in their retreat Avas quite 
unknown in Varna ; and to ascertain this import- 
ant fact, a feAV dragoons, under the Earl of 
Cardigan, made a galloping excursion towards the 
Danube and the Dobrudscha ; they ascertained 
that the Russians had crossed into Wallachia ; and 
they returned to Varna Avith a strong impression 
that the north-eastern part of Bulgaria is a Avretchcd 
region for an army, in respect to rations, fodder, 
and encampment. What little the Cossacks had 
left, the Bashi-Bazouks had either plundered or 
destroyed. The earl, a feAV 'months afterAvards, 
gave a vivA Toce account of this expedition. ' I 
received orders to proceed Avith a body of cavalry 
to ascertain Avhat had become of the Russian 
army ; for the siege of Silistria had been raised, 



and the commander-in-chief \vas totally ignorant 
Avhether the Russians Avere about to advance 
toAvards Varna and attack our position, or retreat 
towards their oAvn country. You can easily 
imagine that this Avas a someAvhat anxious 
undertaking, and one that required considerable 
caution. We might have come at any moment 
upon the Russian army or its outposts. We 
travelled over the country, Avhich I may call a 
perfectly Avild desert, for three hundred miles. My 
orders Avere to proceed as far as Trajan's Wall, 
on the confines of the Dobrudscha. We marched 
one hundred and tAventy miles without ever seeing 
a human being, nor saAV a single house in a state 
of repair or inhabited, and not an animal to be 
seen except those Avhich inhabit the Avildest regions. 
HaA'ing ascertained that the Russian army had 
retreated by Babadagh, and having given the 
information to the commander-in-chief by means 
of my aid-de-camp, Captain Maxse, I proceeded on 
a very interesting inarch, patroling along the banks 
of the Danube to Rustchuk and Silistria, and 
returned thence by that grand fortress Shumla.'* 

Prince Napoleon arrived at Varna in the third 
Aveek in June, to take the command of one of the 
French divisions ; and transport-ships, laden with 
English and French troops, continued to cast 
anchor in the bay. The Duke of Cambridge at 
first fixed his quarters at Varna, but afterAvards 
camped out near the men of liis division. Early 
in July, Omar Pacha rode over from Shumla, 
inspected the Allied troops, and conferred Avith the 
English and French commanders concerning the 
future plans of campaign. Amongst the strange 
medley of soldiers, there Avas noAV an encampment 
of Bashi-Bazouks near Varna varlets whose 
dirtiness and rascality rendered them unwelcome 
neighbours to the English and French camps, and 
whom it Avould be necessary to lick into shape 
before they joined the Turkish army. An 
Englishman, General Beatson, and an Algerine, 
General Yusuf, had undertaken the difficult task 
of taming these Avild spirits. In respect to the 
AUies of the Turks, the French maintained their 
encampment principally at and near Varna ; while 
the English Avere spread over the country to a 
distance of tAvcnty miles west or north-Avest of 
that toAvn. 

The men became \vearied. They had little to 
do ; no laurels to gain. As they possessed less 
of the dancing, singing, dramatic, and culinary 
tastes than their French companions, the English 
desired books and newspapers to read ; but these 
desiderata were supplied very scantily. The 
officers became careless in their attire ; Sir George 
BroAvn Avaged Avar against their beards and 
moustaches ; Lord Raglan reproved them for the 
shooting-jackets and Avide-aAvakes they Avore iu 
private ; and Avhen this matter was remedied, 
he issued a further order relating to the undress- 
uniform itself : ' The sword may be worn, the 

* Speech at the Mansion House, February 6, 1855. 



08 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



jacket may bo the regimental jacket, and the cap 
may he the uniform forage-cap; but such want 
of care is shewn in wearing the uniform in a 
liiruiniiii: manner, that it is difficult to recognise 
the officers in some cases as officers at all. The 
shell-jacket is allowed to fly open, shewing under- 
neath a red flannel-shirt, with nothing round the 
neck, iidt even a white shirt-collar. Often a turban 
is worn over the forage-cap ; the chin unshaven ; 
and there is an absence of what is befitting the 
appearance of an officer in the whole person.' 
How like the reproof which a group of idle boys 
might have called down upon themselves ! Officers 
and men were insufficiently employed ; they had 
few amusements ; the weather was hot ; and hence 
came a languor which rendered them careless of 
personal appearance. 

Towards the close of July, consequent on a 
council of war between the commanders, a portion 
of the French army broke up its encampment, and 
moved northward towards the Dobrudscha. Some 
of the officers, too, took ship on a short exploratory 
voyage towards the Crimea ; and portions of the 
naval squadron arrived with news picked up on 
the shores of Circassia. In August, the soldiers 
began to be employed occasionally in making 
gabions, fascines, sand-bags, and other military 
requirements for a siege ; and whispers spread 
about the camp that something would shortly be 
attempted in the Crimea, where the Russians had 
one of their strongest arsenals. Some of the 
officers had, indeed, approached so near this 
arsenal, Sebastopol, as to be enabled to count the 
guns in the formidable fortress. The two armies 
now began to receive their siege-trams of heavy 
guns, which remained on shipboard until required ; 
stores arrived in enormous quantity ; and vessels 
of all kinds assembled in the bay. Great, indeed, 
was the excitement attending the expected move- 
ment of 80,000 soldiers, to which number the 
Allies now amounted. 

It is necessary here to notice the plans of the 
Allies in respect to Gallipoli, Constantinople, 
Varna, and the Crimea. 

That the Allies did not, in the first instance, 
meditate an advance upon Russian territory, is 
evident. The original plan was entirely defensive, 
under the apprehension that Turkey was placed in 
great and immediate peril. The minister who had 
the conduct of the various diplomatic negotiations 
throughout the war, on the part of England, him- 
self acknowledged this. In the autumn, while the 
army was yet at Varna, the Earl of Clarendon 
spoke as follows : ' Little more than four months 
ago, it was the universal opinion I do not mean 
the opinion of Her Majesty's government, but of 
the most able and experienced military officers in 
-iand and France that Russia meditated a war 
of further ;i-<nvssk>n. Nobody believed, with the 
c had in position on the north of 
the Danube, with all the efforts she had made, 
and with all the mass of materiel she had accumu- 
lated, that she did not intend to march south of 



the Danube. Although we did full credit to the 
known bravery of the Turks, we could not bring 
ourselves to believe that they would be able to 
resist the great numerical superiority of well- 
disciplined troops, under experienced generals, to 
whom they were opposed more especially, too, as 
the only Turkish general of whom we had know- 
ledge by name was Omar Pacha, who, however 
weU established his reputation may be now, had 
not then had the opportunity since afforded to him 
of achieving for himself a lasting renown. My 
lords, so much were we convinced of this, that Sir 
J. Burgoyne and an experienced French officer of 
engineers were sent to Constantinople, in order 
to devise the means of defending that city and 
the Dardanelles ; and so much importance was 
attached to this mission, and so entirely was the 
whole plan of the campaign supposed to be con- 
nected with it, that the departure of Lord Raglan 
and General St Arnaud was delayed, in order that 
they might have personal communications with a 
view to that special object. The Allied armies then 
went to Gallipoli, where great works were thrown 
up. They then went to Constantinople, still having 
this necessity of defence in view ; and upon their 
arrival there, were received with the greatest 
enthusiasm, and imparted new vigour and courage 
to the Turks. The commanders of the two armies 
went to Varna to meet Omar Pacha ; and he 
entreated that a large portion of the Allied forces 
might come to Varna, knowing well how great 
would be the moral effect of such a movement on 
the part of the Allied troops. The Russians made 
then every exertion to take Silistria before the 
arrival of these troops, and that fortress was 
heroically defended by the Turks. The arrival of 
the Allied army was made useful to them, and, as 
your lordships are aware, the siege was raised ; the 
Russian army recrossed the Danube, the most part 
of the Dobrudscha was evacuated, and all thoughts 
of offensive operations on the part of Russia were 
at an end. The Allied armies are therefore now 
ready, and have, perhaps, already commenced more 
important operations.' * 

* This course of policy was further elucidated by 
the English government at a later date, through 
the instrumentality of the Sebastopol Committee. 
The Duke of Newcastle, being asked at what period 
the expedition to the Crimea was determined on, 
replied : ' We received by telegraph ou the 27th of 
June the intelligence that the siege of Silistria had 
been raised. On the following day, a mail left this 
country for Constantinople. I wrote privately to 
Lord Raglan, informing him that he would receive 
by the next mail official instructions to prepare 
for an expedition to the Crimea and to besiege 
Sebastopol, as I was about to prepare a dispatch 
to that effect to be submitted to the cabinet.' 

His Grace had previously written to Lord 
Raglan, on the 10th of April, a dispatch which 
pressed upon the commander the necessity for 

* Speech in the House of Lords, August 10, 1854. 



VARNA : PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA ; 1854. 



99 



making careful and secret inquiries into the condi- 
tion and amount of the Russian army in the 
Crimea, and the strength of the fortress of Sebas- 
topol, as in the event of the Russians making any 
further movement, it might become essential that 
operations of an offensive character should be 
undertaken. No blow could be struck at the 
southern extremity of the Russian Empire Avhich 
would tend more to the conclusion of a solid and 
satisfactory peace, than the taking of Sebastopol 
and the destruction of the Russian fleet. It 
recommended Lord Raglan to ascertain whether 
during the previous few months the works of the 
fortress had been materially strengthened on the 
land-side : Captain Drummond having reported on 
the sea-defences. The dispatch requested his 
lordship to make himself acquainted with the 
facilities for landing troops upon any part of the 
coast between Kaffa and Eupatoria ; he was also 
requested to ascertain, if possible, the number of 
troops in the Crimea reported to be 30,000 and 
how they were distributed ; and as it was stated 
that the water for the town was derived from 
a source eight miles off, it was important and 
advisable to ascertain that fact. The amount of 
provision for the garrison and the town was also an 
important point to be ascertained if possible ; and 
as the siege-train could not arrive for three or four 
weeks, the dispatch urged upon the general in 
command the necessity of using the interval to 
obtain the required information. Such was the 
tenor of a dispatch which, written a few days after 
the declaration of war, certainly shewed that the 
Avar -minister Avas alive to the importance of 
obtaining correct information respecting Sebastopol 
and the Crimea. The Duke of Newcastle also 
read to the committee a dispatch, dated 29th 
June, two days after the government had received 
information of the raising of the siege of Silistria. 
After referring to the dispatch of the 10th of April, 
it stated that the gallant and successful resistance 
of the Turkish army had compelled the Russian 
army to raise the siege of Silistria, and it Avas 
expected they would evacuate the Principalities ; 
consequently the safety of Constantinople Avas for 
the time secured. No further advance of the 
Allied army could on any account be contem- 
plated, as to occupy the Dobrudscha would be 
dangerous to the health of the troops ; and Lord 
Raglan Avas desired to concert measures for under- 
taking the siege of Sebastopol, unless he should be 
in possession of information unknown to the 
government, and which, in his opinion, left no 
reasonable prospect of success in the undertaking. 
If he should be of opinion that the united strength 
of the armies Avas insufficient for the purpose, he 
Avas not precluded from exercising that discretion 
Avhich had been originally ^intrusted to him, 
although the government was of opinion that the 
difficulties in the Avay of the siege of Sebastopol 
Avere of a nature more likely to be increased than 
diminished by delay. As the communications 
by sea were in the hands of the Allies, it Avas of 



importance to cut off the communication between 
the Crimea and the rest of the Russian dominions, 
which object would be obtained by the occupation 
of Perekop, if a sufficient number of the Turkish 
army could be spared, and assisting them Avith 
English and French officers to advise them ; and 
that, as Captain Drummond had recommended, 
vessels of a light draught of water should be 
obtained, if possible, to prevent the passage of 
troops from the Sea of Azof. The dispatch, after 
noticing the importance of selecting favourable 
Aveather for a descent upon the coast of the 
Crimea, referred to the Russian fortifications on 
the eastern shore of the Black Sea, and observed 
that the reduction of Anapa and Soudjuk Kale 
Avould be, next to the capture of Sebastopol, of the 
greatest importance; but their fall was of less 
consequence than that of the other place, as the 
reduction of Sebastopol would in all probability 
immediately lead to their surrender. In the event 
of delay being necessary, the dispatch invited Lord 
Raglan to consider Avith Marshal St Arnaud 
whether the Turkish army could not be made 
available to interrupt the march of the Russian 
army. After expressing reliance that Lord Raglan 
would not expose the army to unnecessary risk, 
the dispatch concluded by observing, at the same 
time, that it was to the gallantry of the troops 
under his command that the country was looking 
to secure the results of a just war, for the vindi- 
cation of national honour, and the restoration of 
peace in Europe. 

It further appeared, from information supplied 
to the Committee by Mr Sidney Herbert, at that 
time secretary at Avar, that the primary instructions 
given to Lord Raglan had been to defend Gallipoli 
and the Dardanelles from any threatened attack 
by the Russians, as a consequence of an inland 
march via Adrianople ; that in case of any advance 
of the enemy short of that place, he Avas to defend 
the line of the Balkan, from Varna and other 
points ; that he was advised, at the same time, to 
collect ah 1 possible information concerning Sebas- 
topol and the Crimea ; that when, on the 29th of 
June, the expedition to the Crimea was determined 
on by the government, Lord Cathcart was sent out 
Avith a reinforcement of troops ; and that a speedy 
coup de main, rather than a long campaign, was 
contemplated in the Crimea. 

Thus much, then, in respect to the views of 
one of the two Allied powers ; and it may be 
inferred that, as an accompaniment or rather a 
preliminary to effective joint action, the other ally 
formed plans based on corresponding considera- 
tions. At various periods during the Russo- 
Turkish war, the views of the imperial govern- 
ment were made public through the columns of 
the Moniteur. Such Avas the case in respect to 
the motives of the Allies in advancing from Varna 
to the Crimea in September 1854. In two long 
papers, which may be regarded as semi-official 
French documents, the policy of this advance was 
defended at a time when the public mind was 



100 



COMMKX* 1-MHNT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



I'.v unsatisfactory news from the K;i.-t. 
'1'ln- KusMans having raised tlio siege of Silistri;i, 
ami rc-cm-sed tlie Danube, the position of the 
Allies was thus touched upon in the documents 
in question : 

' What could tlic united generals do at Varna after 
the retreat of the Kussian army ? Were they to remain 
in an inartivity which would have led to discourage- 
ment, and from which the prestige of our flag would 
iiu'vitahly hare suffered? Neither military honour 
nor political interests allowed the commander-in-ehief 
to take such a position. 

Once on this great theatre, inaction was out of the 
question : it was necessary to act, to shew our object 
tu the troops, to compel the enemy to fear us, to excite 
the ambition of Europe to follow us, by arousing its 
admiration and respect. 

It was then only that a landing in the Crimea was 
mooted. 

An expedition against Scbastopol might hasten the 
de'nouement of the war. It had a determined and 
limited object ; it might place in the hands of the Allies 
a province and a stronghold which, once conquered, 
would be a pledge and a means of exchange to obtain 
peace. It was under the influence of those considera- 
tions that the commanders-in-chief conceived the idea 
and decreed the execution of the plan. 

This expedition having been examined at Paris and 
London as an eventuality, the Marshal St Arnaud 
received then, not the instructions they could not be 
given at such a distance but the following advice : 

"To obtain exact information of the strength of 
the Kussian forces in the Crimea ; if not too con- 
siderable, to land at a spot which might serve as a 
basis for operations. Theodosia (now Kaffa) appeared 
the most eligible spot ; although that point of the 
coast has the disadvantage of being distant forty 
leagues from Sebastopol, it nevertheless offers great 
advantages. First, its bay is vast and safe ; it would 
hold all the vessels of the squadron and the vessels 
with provisions for the troops. Secondly, once estab- 
lished on that point, it might be made a real basis for 
operations. 

In thus occupying the eastern point of the Crimea, 
all the reinforcements coming by the Sea of Azof and 
the Caucasus could be cut off. A gradual advance 
could be made towards the centre of the country, 
taking advantage of all its resources. Simferopol, the 
strategic centre of the peninsula, would be occupied. 
An advance would then be made on Sebastopol, and 
probably a great battle fought on that road. If lost, a 
retreat in good order on Kaffa, and nothing is compro- 
mised ; if gained, to besiege Sebastopol, to invest it 
completely, and its surrender would follow as a matter 
of course in a short interval." ' 

The Allied generals and admirals, it is fully 
evident, had very insufficient knowledge of the 
territory which was to be attacked. ' It may have 
been the misfortune, but it is also the defence of the 
government in the conduct of this campaign, that 
it had no access to extraordinary or secret sources 
of information. We were compelled to send our 
fleets to seas which had never been navigated 
by our ships of war to land our troops where no 
soldier of Western Europe had trodden since the 
Crusades. The Russian government is in full 
Bsion of all the advantages of secrecy and 
lute power, which had long since built an 
impassable barrier round the vast resources of the 
empire. A disposition existed to underrate the 



power of a state whose springs of action are 
diametrically opposed to our own ; and the first 
events of tie war heightened this disregard of 
the strength of Russia into absolute contempt of 
the troops and generals who had failed to force 
the lines of Kalafat or the outworks of Silistria ; 
and, by the same rule, the power of the 
Ottoman Empire was exaggerated and enhanced 
by its partial successes.' * 

Partially informed of plans which they were 
bound to keep secret, if such were possible, the 
Allied generals and admirals conferred and debated, 
examined and calculated, without communicating 
definite arrangements to those under them ; and 
thus it happened that, during June, July, and 
August, the armies and fleets were held in torment- 
ing suspense, ready to enter on active duty, but 
ignorant when and where that duty would present 
itself. In June, rumours went from tent to tent, 
from camp to camp, that an advance Avould soon 
be made to Silistria ; but when the rumours died 
away without further result, officers and men fell 
back to their enforced but unwelcome idleness. 

Mrs Young one of a small number of officers' 
wives who tasted camp-life at Gallipoli and Varna 
before the advance of the troops to the Crimea 
has given a lively description of this sort of life 
under its more pleasant aspects, free from the 
stern disasters and miseries which had afterwards 
to be encountered. Arriving at Varna from Con- 
stantinople in the Caradoc, she had to search her 
way as best she might through the town to the 
spot where her husband's regiment was encamped, 
two miles distant ; surmounting many difficulties 
occasioned by her ignorance of the Turkish lan- 
guage, and threading her route between the tents 
of a French camp. At last reaching the place, 
' There,' she says, ' was our little tent, half-covered 
with the well-known mat ; our servant, revelling 
in green-wood smoke, as usual, in the rear ; there 
were the ponies, and the charger, and the mule; 
the packsaddles and the toAvels drying on the 
bushes ; the red flag of the colonel's tent ; and the 
band playing pleasantly as the men wound back 
by the side of the lake after their morning's 
parade. One feature, however, was quite new, 
and a very pretty one it was : the tents were 
everywhere interspersed with bowers of green 
leaves. The soldiers had been employed in cutting 
branches from the trees that clothed the hillsides ; 
and long poles, borrowed from the commissariat 
stores, being forced into the ground, light boughs 
were arched over them, secured with strong twine ; 
and on these, all the leafy twigs that could be 
found were heaped in abundance. Nearly every 
officer had a bower ; and while kept green by 
continual relays of leaves, nothing could be more 
agreeable than these retreats ; their fresh coolness, 
and the admission of air they permitted, forming 
such a delicious relief to the heat and want of 
circulation of air, from which, after seven in the 

* Edinburgh Rctiete, No. CCV. 



VARNA : PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA : 1854, 



101 



morning, we suffered so terribly in the bell-tents. 
My first demand was for a bower ; and in about 
three hours, with the aid of a strong fatigue-party, 
I had one that was quite the pride of the camp. 
Then a charming little oval deal-table, the top of 
which closed like a draught-board, was set therein ; 
a bullock-trunk and a hamper for chairs ; and in 
this green drawing-room we breakfasted, wrote, 
and received our visitors. Being in the East, we 
felt little hesitation in asking our friends to 
subside on what formed our Turkey carpet.' * 
This holiday tone was not of long continuance 

- 



at the camp. Many a soldier's letter reached 
home from Varna, as from Gallipoli, complaining of 
deficient rations or camp discomforts. One writer 
compares the English and French arrangements in 
many particulars ; and in the course of his observa- 
tions he says : ' The Zouaves are armed with rifles, 
and I suspect know how to use them pretty well. 
One of the best articles of their equipment is the 
water-bottle. Ours is a heavy, lumbering wooden 
thing, fit to carry beer for haymakers, which 
chafes the leg on the march, and interferes with the 
handling of the musket, and makes a man cover at 




Interior of an Officer's Tent at Varna. 



least four inches more ground ; theirs is made of 
metal, covered with cloth, fitting to the body, and 
by the curving way it is adjusted, is no impediment 
to the man. Their commissariat and staff are 
better able, by their experience, to carry out the 
intentions of their government than ours are. 
Notwithstanding all that is said in the newspapers 
and elsewhere about the liberality of the govern- 
ment, our men get no tea or groceries of any sort, 
and those in the town are too dear for them to buy. 
The officers, of course, can carry a small supply of 
things about with them from place to place ; but 
the men can do nothing of the kind, and suffer 
a good deal if they do not get their breakfast 
and supper.' The writer comments on the 

* Our Camp in Turkey, p. 1G7. 



tailoring achievements of our army authorities, and 
proceeds : ' Our tents are much better than those of 
the French, but we must pitch them exactly in a 
straight line, regardless of ants' nests, furze-bushes, 
or steep inclines. In this, and in many other 
cases, real utility and the comfort of the men are 
disregarded, for the purpose of satisfying an absurd 
craving for an unattainable uniformity. So about 
whiskers and moustaches. God gives one man 
red whiskers, and another black ; some can grow 
moustaches, and some cannot ; so, do what we 
will, we cannot make ourselves exactly, or even 
nearly alike ; nor docs the reasoning, which proves 
the necessity of a uniform system of clothing, 
apply at all to whiskers and beards.' In numerous 
other letters which reached the public eye, and of 
the authenticity of which there is no reason to 



102 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



doubt, the writers complained sometimes of the 
quality of the food, sometimes of its deficient quan- 
titv, but more frequently of the irksome idleness 
in "a foreign land during the hot season. 

When, at a later period in the history of the 
war, the Ihiko of Cambridge communicated the 
results of his experience at Varna, ho adduced an 
instance of the clumsy mode in which the book- 
keeping arrangements of the commissariat were 
managed at that place not irrational, perhaps, 
in relation to the quiet everyday proceedings at 
home during a time of peace, but unsuited to the 
exigencies of war. 'The system,' said his royal 
highness, 'is exceedingly inconvenient, throwing 
difficulties in every one's way instead of removing 
them. I will give an instance of that which 
occurred at Varna soon after we landed. My 
division had gone on to Aladyn, but I remained 
behind for a few days, as the ammunition-horses 
had not been duly equipped, and I had my own 
tents. A company was left in charge, and I was 
of course anxious that the men should be properly 
rationed, and I therefore desired their officer to 
get rations from the head-quarter commissariat. 
The first day I sent, although the men were in 
want of their daily rations, instead of sending those 
rations at once, the commissariat sent a printed 
form to the officer for him to fill up. Hence there 
was considerable delay ; and then, not satisfied 
with that, the officer was supposed to have put 
down one or two more horses than he was entitled 
to. Instead of sending the rations for the men, 
and pointing out the inaccuracy in the return of 
horses, they would send no rations at all because 
the form was wrong. Upon that the officer came 
to me, and I desired him to go with his animals to 
get the rations, and put matters to rights ; and 
he did then get them that day, although very late. 
As it turned out, the commissariat officer was 
wrong, and there was no mistake in the return at 
all. I think that is a mode of proceeding quite 
preposterous.' * 

Preposterous it certainly was; and to such 
formalism was due the loss of many valuable lives, 
not only of horses, but of men, during the war ; 
nevertheless, the actual amount of blame deserved 
by the commissariat officers must depend on the 
stringency of the rules imposed upon them by 
their superiors. In respect both to the supply of 
rations to the men and fodder to the horses, and 
to the conveyance of provisions and stores' the 
commissariat was ill provided ; the officers of that 
department reached Varna only a few days before 
the troops themselves ; and hence they were called 
upon to effect a month's work in a week, under 
circumstances of much difficulty. 

Seldom, perhaps, has an army been more embar- 

l for means of locomotion than the English at 

The troops were frequently compelled to 

ubmit to scanty food, because the commissariat was 

3icnt m means of transport; and the possibility 

* Evidence before the Sebastopol Committee. 



of an advance towards Silistria, to assist Omar 
Pacha against the Russians, was rendered doubtful 
on the same 'grounds. The evidence collected 
many months afterwards by the Sebastopol Com- 
mittee was conclusive on this point. Captain 
Wrottesley, who was sent to Varna to superintend 
the construction of wharfs for landing the horses, 
gave evidence, of which the following is a summary. 
When the troops arrived at Varna, there was a 
great want of means of transport. It was the 
chief difficulty the English engineers had to 
contend with ; the French sappers brought their 
own horses from France ; while to convey 
wood for the wharfs, the English engineers, after 
sending a requisition to the quarter-master- 
general's department, whence another requisition 
went to the commissariat, had to depend on the 
native arabas. Thus, though the French, who 
were building wharfs at the same time, often 
worked with less skill as workmen, the English 
engineers were so unfavourably circumstanced, 
that they wore beaten from not having the same 
means of transport. Five hundred bullock- wagons 
were sent down to Varna by Omar Pacha, being 
all he could spare from his own army ; but when 
they arrived, there were no arrangements for 
organising them ; the drivers were not regularly 
fed or paid, and gradually they all ran away. There 
was an absolute want of horses, although officers 
were then in Syria and Spain purchasing them. A 
few fine mules were obtained, but they were 
vicious brutes, quite unused to harness. No horse 
fit for the shafts of an army-carriage constructed 
for English horses could be obtained. The ambu- 
lance-carts sent out could not be used, for there 
were no means of drawing them. If a Turkish 
horse were placed in a cart built for the English 
standard, the shafts would be on a level with his 
backbone ; few horses of the country exceeded 
eleven hands in height. The medicine-chests of 
the army were all too large ; they were used as 
tables, and would dine four persons very comfort- 
ably, but they could not be carried by mules. The 
engineers were ordered to make smaller ones. 
Captain Wrottesley further stated that the siege- 
train of artillery was not landed at Varna at all, 
because it was sent out from England without the 
means of traction. It was the opinion of this 
officer that the commissariat ought not to be 
charged with the transport of the army. Over- 
whelmed on the one hand with applications for 
food and forage, and on the other with applications 
for means of conveyance, the officers broke down 
in spite of their best exertions. 

Military authorities estimate that an army of 
53,000 men requires 16,000 draught-horses and 
baggage-mules, together with 9000 commissariat 
mules for its due service ; that is, nearly half as 
many horses and mules as men. In this ratio, the 
British army at Varna should have possessed more 
than double the number of animals which was 
actually available ; for 25,000 men, they had about 
5000 animals, instead of 12,000. Sir C. Trevelyan, 



VARNA : PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA : 1854. 



103 



secretary to the Treasury, was at that time at the 
head of the commissariat department; and from 
his replies to a series of questions, it will be seen 
how lame was the organisation each official 
placing blame on the shoulders of others, rather 
than bearing the burden himself. 

' Did you ever form in this country a scheme founded 
on this calculation, of what amount of transport is 
required to move an army of 25,000 men in the field ? 
It was not necessary for us to do so. It is the 
business of the commissary-general to form the estab- 
lishment required to move the army. Our system is 
to draw on the resources of the country to the utmost 
extent, and to send from home only what the country 
will not supply. 

Then, on this side, you never originated any plan, 
knowing the probable operations before Mr Filder 
could have known them, by which the commissariat 
could have provided sufficient transport for the army to 
have been fed? We placed at his disposal the only 
means that could be provided ample funds, and 
authority to purchase the means of land-transport in 
the country : this Mr Filder did to the extent of his 
ability ; besides which, we sent from Spain and Malta 
what was required. 

But you never formed any calculation here? That 
was not our duty ; it is the duty of the commissary- 
general, an experienced officer, acting under the general 
commanding, and possessed of full information, not 
only from treatises, but from his long experience, to 
determine what amount of transport is required for 
the army, and to provide that amount from all the 
resources the country can afford. 

Then, here you had no general scheme ? That was 
not our duty.' * 

That the English could not, if they had wished, 
assist the Turks at Silistria, has been shewn by a 
most competent authority, General Sir de Lacy 
Evans, who in his evidence said : ' When the 
Russians crossed the Danube, Omar Pacha applied 
for assistance ; and the answer was, that the army 
had not the means of transport, which ought to 
have been provided long before. I think the 
government was still waiting for notes and pro- 
tocols from Vienna, and no great exertions were 
made to put the army in a condition to move ; for 
delay from this cause, of course, the commissariat 
department was not responsible. The Russians 
were carrying on the siege of Silistria, and still the 
army was not in readiness to move. Even eighteen 
miles from Varna there was the greatest difficulty 
in getting provisions ; we had to send to Varna 
for them; and such was the state of confusion 
there, that a train of one hundred arabas would 
come back from the town without any supplies. 
At that time the deficient personnel of the com- 
missariat was severely felt. Having been applied 
to, I lent one hundred non-commissioned officers 
and privates to help it; and on application to 
Lord Raglan, two volunteer officers were allowed 
to be detached to assist the commissariat, and 
he found great advantage from it.' 

The Duke of Newcastle at' that time responsible 
in England for the management of the war appears, 
from the evidence given before the Committee, to 

* Evidence before the Sebastopol Committee. 



have been unaware of the fact that the army had 
insufficient means of transport. Without actually 
disputing the opinions of Captain Wrottesley and 
General Evans, he still thought that Lord Raglan 
and Mr Commissary Filder might, between them, 
have effected all that was necessary. No one wrote 
home to him officially to say that aught was wrong, 
and hence he inferred that all was right. His 
Grace spoke of the 'official reasons' which he had 
for believing that the unfavourable reports must 
have been erroneous his reasons being, the non- 
receipt of official confirmation of those reports. 
The duke was at that time at issue with the 
Admiralty, concerning the proper superintending 
power over the commissariat; indeed, there were 
three current theories on the subject, advocating 
respectively the Treasury, the War-office, and the 
Admiralty, as the department to which the com- 
missariat should look up for orders. The experience 
of everyday life will enable any one to compre- 
hend that such conflicting views must necessarily 
have weakened the efficiency of the protege thus 
trebly protected. 

When the commissariat-officers at Varna were 
harassed by applications to which they could not 
adequately respond, and hurt by censures which 
they had not justly incurred, it was right that an 
eye-witness should say a word or two in their 
defence. The Times correspondent at that place 
wrote: 'A commissariat-officer is not made in a 
day, nor can the most lavish expenditure effect the 
work of years, or atone for the want of experience. 
The hardest-working Treasury-clerk and, I must 
say, they all evince the greatest zeal and most 
untiring diligence in the discharge of their duties 
has necessarily much to learn ere he can become 
an efficient commissariat-officer in a country which 
our old campaigners declare to be the most difficult 
they ever were in for procuring supplies. Let 
those who have any recollections of Chobham, 
just imagine that famous encampment to be placed 
about ten miles from the sea, in the midst of a 
country utterly deserted by the inhabitants, the 
railways from London stopped up, the supplies by 
cart or wagon cut off, corn scarcely procurable, 
carriages impossible, and the only communication 
between the camp and port carried on by means 
of buffalo and bullock arabas, travelling about 
one and a half mile an hour and they will be 
able to form some faint idea of the difficulties of 
getting the requisite necessaries out here. Besides, 
here we are absolutely at war obliged to carry 
enormous masses of ammunition, as well as 
tents and tent-equipage, provisions for the men, 
medical stores, all the various articles and means 
for cooking, &c., through a country which, to all 
intents and purposes, is held by enemies [in so 
far as the Bulgarians hate the Turks]. To give a 
notion of the requirements of such a body as this 
army of 25,000 men in the field, I may observe 
that it was stated to me on good authority the 
other day, that not less than 13,000 horses and 
mules would be required for the conveyance of 



104 



O.MMKXCKMKNT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



:a^e and stores. About twelve o'clock to-day, 
just as all the olliecrs were making preparations 
'for their .-tart to-morrow morning, orders were 
received countermanding those wliich had been 
iued for the mareh of the division; and it may 
be inferred, that the diUiculties of which I was just 
\\ritinir when the aid-de-camp arrived have been 
found t<> be insuperable, and that the commissariat 
has not been aMe to provide the means of convey- 
ance for the stuns, either of Sir George Brown's or 
of the Puke of Cambridge's division. To continue 
niv remarks on the nature uf these difficulties: I 
may observe, that not only is it a work of time, 
labour, and money to find the horses, mules, and 
buffaloes, bullock and araba carts, required for our 
march, but that when we get them we cannot keep 
them. Buffalo and bullock carts and their drivers 
vanish into thin air in the space of a night. A 
Uulgarian is a human being after all.' 

Again, the same well-informed writer wrote on 
another occasion: ' The report in the camp is, that 
the commissariat declared themselves unable to 
comply with the requisitions for moving the division, 
and that therefore we do not move to-morrow, or 
probably the next day. I regret very much to 
have to state, that for several days last week there 
was neither rice, nor sugar, nor preserved potatoes, 
nor tea, nor any substitute for these articles issued 
to the men ; they had, therefore, to make their 
breakfast simply on ration brown bread and water. 
A fter breakfast, they were paraded and exercised for 
an hour or two in the hot sun on one occasion, for 
more than four hours and the result has been 
that illness increased rapidly. The dinners of the 
men, as long as the want of rice continued, consisted 
of lean ration-beef boiled in water, and eaten with 
brown bread, without any seasoning to flavour it. 
The supplies ran out, and it was no fault of the 
commissariat that they did so. Who was to blame, 
I don't pretend to say.' No one, it is remarked by 
the same authority, unacquainted with the actual 
requirements of an army, can form an adequate 
notion of the various duties which devolve upon 
an English commissariat-officer, or of the enormous 
quantity of stores required for the daily use of men 
and horses. In the middle of July, when most of 
the troops in the English army were quartered 
at distances varying from ten to twenty miles 
from Varna, there were required daily for the 
men, 27,000 pounds of bread, 27,000 pounds of 
meat, besides rice, tea, coffee, sugar, &c. ; and 
for the horses, 110,000 pounds of corn, chopped 
straw, etc. Besides being responsible for the 
supply of these immense quantities, the commissa- 
riat-officers were burdened, by the strange organ- 
isation of the service, with the duty of providing 
horses, carts, saddles, tents, and interpreters. In 
addition to other reasons why the army could not 
have advanced to Silistria, little or no water is 
to be found on the first thirty miles of road from 
Varna; and the commissariat had neither vt 
to contain water, carts to bear the vessels, nor 
horses to draw the carts. It is difficult to over- 



estimate the amount of loss and suffering incurred 
by the British army in the East through the 
deficiency in means of transport. 

Stern calamity of another kind visited the troops 
at Varna as the heats of summer approached 
calamity more serious than mere irregularity in 
supplies. Disease and death visited the camps. 

Strategical reasons having mainly determined 
the selection of Varna as a military position, the 
health of the place was not the first consideration. 
Nevertheless, this important matter had not been 
wholly forgotten by the authorities. The Duke of 
Newcastle sent out orders to inquire into the 
sanitary condition of the town and neighbourhood 
before the troops were removed thither ; and he 
depended on the commander-iii-chief and the 
commissary-general for the due fulfilment of this 
duty. Omar Pacha, when appealed to for his 
advice, said : ' If you disembark at Varna, by 
keeping clear of the lake of Devna, and encamping 
on the heights to the south of the town, you will 
find a healthy situation, surrounded by abundance 
of good water, with a fine climate to restore the 
men and horses after their sea-voyage ; and the 
barrack in the town can be made use of as an 
hospital, if necessary.' Some of the troops were 
encamped close to the lake, contrary, in this 
respect alone, to Omar Pacha's advice ; and it is 
possible that sickness may have been thereby 
occasioned. 

In the middle of June, slight sickness appeared 
in the camp, but not to such an extent as to induce 
anxiety. When the next following month brought 
an increase of heat, however, the dreaded cholera 
accompanied it ; and then, indeed, did the officers 
feel solicitude for themselves and their men. The 
French were attacked more severely than the 
English, and the Turks and Egyptians more severely 
than either. Numerous officers, being placed on 
the sick-list, returned home when able so to do. 

All the romance of expectant warfare was 
dissipated when July heat, heavy storms, vermin, 
and disease attacked the camp. Mrs Young, 
in spite of her womanly endeavours to lessen 
rather than increase troubles, felt and wrote 
despondingly. ' The dews became very heavy, 
rain was common, and our storms of thunder and 
lightning were more frequent and more violent. 
To imagine anything more wretched than our 
tents now became, was scarcely possible. They 
had no time to dry under the hot sun before 
the rain recommenced ; so that the atmosphere 
strongly resembled that which would be enjoyed 
by hanging a room round with wet linen, lighting 
a large fire therein, and spending the first halt- 
hour on a stool in the centre, one's feet supported 
on a wet sponge ; and if the reader will oblige me 
by trying to realise this idea, a very tolerable 
notion will be formed of our indoor comforts in . 
the camp at Varna. Outside, matters were still 
more deplorable. The mud was of the kind 
adhesive ; it clung about one with the tenacity of 
old prejudices ; shaking it off was out of the 



VARNA: PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIMEA : 1854. 



105 



question. How the servants managed at all, I have 
no idea, sliding and sinking in all this weary mire ; 
and how the tough old fowl, or the morsel of mutton, 
was ever boiled in the dirty water, or brought to 
us in that smutty pan, day by day, remains quite 
an open question.' * But the sickness Avas a more 
grave concern. It became necessary to convey one 
of the invalided officers from Devna to Varna. 
' Now, it will seem extraordinary, no doubt, that 
an army should have been sent to Turkey, liable 
to all sorts of accidents, even if not actually 
employed in the field, and yet that no carriage 
for the sick was provided. Yet such was abso- 
lutely the case ; and a poor officer from Devna 
with a broken limb had been sent jolting in an 
araba only a few days before, to the intense 
suffering, as may be supposed, of the unfortunate 
patient.' Arrived at Varna, our authoress, after 
infinite trouble, succeeded in procuring quarters 
for a sick officer, and found the town filled with 
people of all nations, in a frightful state of heat 
and disease, and overrun with vermin. 

As the still hotter month of August approached, 
sickness increased at the camp. Many were 
afflicted with cholera ; nearly all with diarrhoea. 
Scarcity of numerous comforts, and even neces- 
saries, led the men to eat and drink too abundantly 
of such articles as were within reach, especially 
apricots ; and thus the evil was augmented. 
When the general hospital at Varna became filled 
with as many sick soldiers as it could possibly 
accommodate, temporary hospitals were established 
in the neighbouring villages ; and the surgeons 
became overburdened with their daily labours. 
The Duke of Cambridge was among the officers 
attacked with illness. The Light Division, when 
visited by cholera, moved on to Monastir, eight 
or ten miles beyond Devna, in the hope of 
finding a more salubrious place for encampment. 
The First Division had to bear the attacks, not 
only of cholera, but also of typhus ; and the 
Third Division, encamped near Varna, was like- 
wise severely visited. It became mournful work 
for the men to bury their dead companions by 
dozens and scores, and added to the causes of 
dissatisfaction at the position in which they were 
placed. It was upon the French, however, that 
the dread disease fell with the greatest severity ; 
they sank under it at the rate of sixty or 
eighty per diem. A portion of their army, under 
General Canrobert, had advanced from Varna to 
the margin of the Dobrudscha ; to these were 
added 2500 Zouaves, who went by sea from Varna 
to Kustendji ; and these hapless troops, passing 
through a marsh where the Russians had left dead 
men and horses, were swept off by whole com- 
panies. Canrobert left nearly 3000 of his poor 
fellows dead in that wretched district. In the 
midst of the tragedy, the French general issued a 
sympathising address to the troops, commending 
highly their endurance and devotion. 

* Our Camp in Turkey, p. 251. 



The hospital at Varna became a terrible place. 
It had been a barrack, and seems to have retained 
a certain amount of insalubrity from its occupation 
by the Turks never a cleanly people when assem- 
bled in masses. The French, distrusting the place 
in cholera-time, abandoned it, and established tent- 
hospitals in the fields for their poor sick comrades. 

Had this condition of affairs remained many 
weeks longer, the armies would have become 
nearly disorganised : officers were wearied and 
discontented ; the men were reckless ; the surgeons 
and the commissariat were worked almost beyond 
endurance. Great, therefore, was the joy when 
the end of August brought the end of cholera, and 
the announcement of a speedy and certain expedi- 
tion to the Crimea, there to encounter hand to 
hand those Russians of whom so much had been 
said and so little seen. 

The French generals are more prone to the issue 
of proclamations and manifestoes than the English, 
and their soldiers appear to derive exhilaration 
therefrom. Nothing could be more striking than 
the contrast between the documents put forth 
by Raglan and St Arnaud on the eve of de- 
parture for that expedition which was destined 
to be fatal to both of these commanders : the one, 
plain, short, and business-like; the other, glowing 
and dazzling. The following was one among many: 

' SOLDIERS ! You have just given fine examples of 
perseverance, calmness, and energy, in the midst of 
painful circumstances which must now be forgotten. 
The hour is come to fight and to conquer. The enemy 
did not wait for us on the Danube. His columns, 
demoralised and destroyed by disease, are painfully 
retiring. It is Providence, perhaps, that has wished 
to spare us the trial of these unhealthy countries ; it 
is Providence, also, which calls us into the Crimea, a 
country as healthy as our own, and to Sebastopol, the 
seat of Russian power, within whose walls we go to 
seek together the pledge of peace, and of our return to 
our homes. The enterprise is grand, and worthy of 
you. You will realise it by the aid of the most for- 
midable military and naval force that has ever been 
seen collected. The Allied fleets, with their 3000 
cannons, and their 25,000 brave seamen, your emulators 
and your companions-in-arms, will bear to the shores 
of the Crimea an English army, whose high courage 
your forefathers learned to respect ; a chosen division 
of those Ottoman soldiers who have just approved 
themselves in your eyes ; and a French army, which I 
have the right and the pride to call the elite of our 
whole army. I see in this more than pledges of success. 
I see in it success itself. Generals, commanders of 
corps, officers of all arms, you will partake of the 
confidence with which my mind is filled, and will 
impart it to your soldiers. We shall soon salute the 
three united flags floating together on the ramparts of 
Sebastopol with our national cry, " Vive FEmpereur!" 

A. DE ST ARNAUD. 
HEAD-QUARTEKS, VABXA, August 25.' 

The enthusiasm of the French was further 
aroused by the following proclamation, sent to 
them about the same time, by the Emperor : 

' SOLDIERS AND SAILORS OF THE ARMY OF THE 
EAST! You have not fought, but already you have 
obtained a signal success. Your presence, and that of 
the English troops, have sufficed to compel the enemy 
to recross the Danube, and the Russian vessels remain 



106 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



ingloriously in their ports. You have not yet fought, 
and already you have struggled courageously against 
dentil. A scourge, fatal though transitory, has not 
anccted your ardour. France, and the sovereign whom 
she- has chosen, cannot witness without deep emotion, 
or without making every effort to give assistance to 
such eiuTjiy and such sacrifices. 

The First Consul said, in 1797, in a proclamation 
to lu's army : " The first quality required in a soldier, 
is the power of supporting fatigues and privations. 
Courage is only a secondary one." The first you are 
now displaying. Who can deny you the possession of 
the second? Therefore it is that your enemies, dis- 
seminated from Finland to the Caucasus, are seeking 
anxiously to discover the point upon which France 
and England will direct their attacks, which they 
foresee will be decisive; for right, justice, and warlike 
inspiration are on our side. 

Already, Bomarsund and 2000 prisoners have just 
fallen into our power. Soldiers! you will follow the 
example of the army of Egypt. The conquerors of the 
Pyramids and Mont Thabor had, like you, to contend 
against warlike soldiers and against disease ; but, in 
spite of pestilence and the efforts of three armies, they 
returned with honour to their country. Soldiers ! have 
confidence in your General-in-chief and in me. I am 
watching over you, and I hope, with the assistance 
of God, soon to see a diminution of your sufferings 
and an increase of your glory. 

Soldiers ! farewell, till we meet again. 

NAPOLEON.' 

Busy, indeed, were the armies during the last 
week in August and the first in September, pre- 
paring, with the aid of the Allied fleets, one of the 
most formidable armaments ever sent forth. Ships 
in almost countless number were assembled in the 
Bay of Varna, and off the coast for many miles 
north and south of that harbour; while every 
available kind of vehicle and animal of draught 
or burden was brought into requisition to convey 
baggage, stores, and camp-equipments of every 
kind, down to the beach. It was a time of 
intense excitement for all. 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA: 1854. 

As a necessary condition of perspicacity in the 
narrative, the proceedings of the Allied armies 
have been traced without interruption by naval 
details. The present, however, is a convenient 
point at which to narrate the proceedings of the 
English and French fleets in the Straits and in 
the Black Sea. The mighty war-ships were about 
to take part in the struggle which was to -engage 
the attention of the armies; the seamen were to 
share with the soldiers the honour accruing from 
any hoped for victories in the Crimea. The armies, 
a.> we have seen, had spent more than six months 
in a kind of negative position. The first regiments 
loft England in February; they did not quit Varna 
fur the Crimea until September had arrived; and 
in the intervening period of thirty weeks, they had 
been wearied with detention at Malta, detention 
at Gallipoli, detention at Scutari, and still more 
lengthened detention at Varna hoping almost 
against hope, and striving to keep up their spirits 



by forming images of future glory. We have now 
to see how far the fleets were called upon to share 
in this forced inaction. 

The two principal seas of Europe, the Mediter- 
ranean and the Baltic, are differently circumstanced 
in respect to the maritime powers. England and 
France always maintain fleets in the Mediter- 
ranean : never in the Baltic, unless special service 
is required. The Mediterranean is so all-impor- 
tant ; it is a highway for so large and valuable a 
commerce ; it is an outlet for the produce of so 
many fertile countries ; it contains the outlying 
portions of the dominions of so many sovereigns ; 
it is a region so jealously watched by those 
sovereigns, lest any one of their number should 
acquire too much power in it that several 
nations are willing to bear the charge of main- 
taining fleets on its bosom. England is interested 
in the Mediterranean, on account of Gibraltar, 
Malta, the Ionian Islands, and the highway to 
India through Egypt; France is called upon to 
maintain free intercourse between her mainland, 
Corsica, and Algeria ; Spain is washed along her 
southern coast by this sea, and derives thence a 
large proportion of her commerce ; the Italian 
states are dependent on this sea for all their 
maritime influence, such as it may be ; Austria 
touches salt water only at the Adriatic, the most 
northerly bend of the Mediterranean ; Turkey, 
with her former provinces of Greece and Egypt, 
is especially a Mediterranean power ; while Russia 
has ever sought to increase her influence in this 
important sea. 

Frequent, though incidental, mention has been 
made in former chapters of the English and 
French fleets in Turkish waters, touching the 
delicate negotiations concerning Russo-Turkish 
affairs. Threats that those fleets would approach 
Constantinople, alternated with invitations that 
they might do so, according to the varying tone of 
politics. Admirals were recalled, and replaced by 
others ; ships were sent home, to be superseded by 
others of newer build ; but England and France 
never ceased to have fleets in the Mediterranean, 
anchored at spots which, though not giving 
umbrage to other powers, might yet be near enough 
to enforce the decisions of the two cabinets on 
any important question connected with the policy 
of the East. 

Admiral Dundas, or, more precisely, Vice-admiral 
J. W. D. Dundas there being two other adrnirals 
of the same name in the Royal Navy at that time 
commanded the British fleet in the Mediter- 
ranean during the earlier stages of the war. 
About the middle of the year 1853, when war 
was becoming almost inevitable between Russia 
and Turkey, he moved towards the Dardanelles. 
Three months earlier, at the time when the 
Menchikoff mission was agitating Constantinople, 
Admiral Dundas was with his fleet at Malta ; 
Colonel Rose, in the absence of Lord Stratford de 
Redcliffe, called up the fleet to protect Turkey 
against the designs of Russia ; but the admiral 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA : 1854. 



107 



did not feel himself justified in responding to this 
summons without instructions from the govern- 
ment at home. At a later time, however, when 
the political clouds further darkened, delay was 
no longer admissible ; and the admiral received 
orders, on the 8th of June, to proceed from Malta 
to Besika Bay, there to place himself under the 
guidance of the British ambassador. This bay, 
situated near the mouth of the Dardanelles, was 
considered to be sufficiently near Constantinople to 
enable the fleet to render aid in case of urgency. 
There the admiral remained about five months, 
until, on the 30th of October, he received orders to 
advance to the Bosphorus. In the Constantinopo- 
litan waters two months more of detention awaited 
him ; until at length, in the beginning of 1854 after 
the tragedy at Sinope had driven the Allied govern- 
ments to the adoption of something like a definite 
policy officers and men were alike delighted by 
an order to advance to the Black Sea, yearning, 
as they had been, to exchange listless inaction 
for enterprise and possible glory. It is to this 
period, and this region, that the Earl of Carlisle's 
Diary chiefly relates ; the attempts to ' kill time ' 
on board the ships ; the impatient desire for 
change to active service ; the pleasure-trips up and 
down the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles ; the 
visitings and dinner-parties between the officers of 
the English and French fleets all are depicted by 
the earl ; and they suffice to shew that the last six 
months of 1853 were months of complete inaction 
on the part of the Allied fleets, at a time when 
Turkey, driven into war by the intolerable aggres- 
sion of Russia, was bravely fighting her own cause 
on the banks of the Danube. 

At that time, our admirals possessed as little 
trustworthy knowledge of the strength of the 
Russian fleets, as our generals of that of the 
Russian armies. Admiral Dundas received from 
the Admiralty a rough outline of the supposed 
state of the czar's fleet in the Black Sea ; but 
neither this outline, nor the information possessed 
by the British ambassador at Constantinople, was 
very definite. The French fleet, which throughout 
the second half of the year 1853, had been anchored 
in near proximity to the British, was equally 
destitute of authentic details concerning the naval 
resources of Russia. 

The first day of the New Year found the Allied 
fleets busily preparing in Beicos Bay for more 
active service. This bay is in the Bosphorus, on 
the eastern or Asiatic side, about midway between 
the Sea of Marmora and the B]ack Sea ; whereas 
Besika Bay, where the fleets had previously 
anchored, is a little south of the Dardanelles ; the 
distance between the two bays being about 180 
miles. On the 4th of January 1854, the fleets 
entered the Black Sea. Among the principal 
English men-of-war were the Britannia, Albion, 
Jupiter, Vengeance, Sanspareil, Rodney, Betterophon, 
Trafalgar, Agamemnon, London, Queen, and Terrible; 
while the French sent out the Bayard, Ville 
de Paris, Jena, Henri IV., Valmy, Friedland, 



Charlemagne, Descartes, &c. The most important 
of these vessels were steamers ; and in this 
respect the Black Sea in 1854 introduced a new 
era in the history of naval warfare. 

A signal was hoisted on the flag-ship ' Turks 
are to be protected from all aggression by sea or 
land !' This was the first formal declaration that 
the Allies would employ the force of arms against 
Russia, if necessary. The fleet, joined by a Turkish 
flotilla, bent round eastward, and coasted Asia 
Minor towards Sinope. The sight here was 
miserable. Although many weeks had elapsed 
since the Russian attack, mutilated bodies were 
still lying about the beach ; several hundreds had 
been covered with earth, but again uncovered by 
ferocious dogs and vultures. The town was nearly 
destroyed ; the beach was covered with masts and 
spars; the tops of sunken ships appeared in the 
water; and the wretched inhabitants of the few 
remaining houses were nearly in a starving state. 
On the 8th, the Agamemnon, Sanspareil, Charle- 
magne, Terrible, Mogador, Sampson, and Descartes, 
were ordered to get up steam, and to escort 
several Turkish vessels, containing powder and 
stores, to Trebizond and Batoum Turkish ports 
on the southern and south-eastern shores of the 
Black Sea. This done, they returned to Sinope. 
England and France not being yet at war, the 
admirals were not authorised to attack Russian 
ships ; they were to defend Turkey and Turks from 
Russian attacks; and in the performance of this 
duty, they shielded the six Turkish steamers 
appointed to convey munitions of war to Turkish 
ports on the Black Sea. It was small work, 
however, for such fine ships. Sir Edmund Lyons' 
91-gun screw-steamer Agamemnon, the Sanspareil 
screw of 71, and such like noble vessels, were 
powerful forces for such a service. Rumours were 
afloat that a Russian squadron of four line-of-battle 
ships and four steamers had been seen off Batoum ; 
the Allies loaded and shotted all their guns in 
readiness ; but no Russians appeared, to the evident 
disappointment of those who would willingly have 
had a brush with the czar's ships. It was, however, 
ascertained, that three Russian steamers had 
been off the coast three days before the Allies 
arrived, trying the range of their guns at some of 
the Turkish forts; hence it may be inferred, that 
the Allies exerted a preventive, if not an active 
influence, by appearing in this quarter as defenders 
of the Turks. 

The fleets returned to the Bosphorus after this 
short expedition, and resumed their course of 
inaction, not being empowered by the home 
authorities to make any active demonstrations 
against Russia. One event mortified the officers 
and sailors exceedingly. The Russians succeeded 
in capturing some Turkish coal-vessels, in spite of 
the proximity of the English and French fleets. 
The Vladimir, a Russian frigate, was painted like 
an Austrian vessel, and exhibited the Austrian 
number for the Ferdinando Primo ; it approached 
three Turkish vessels; the Turks regarded it as 



108 



COMMENCEMENT OP HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



l>elonpu_' to a friendly power; but the mask was 
speedih thrown <; and the ships taken. The 
captun.l eivws were put on board the smallest 
]. and allowed to return home : while the 
..:her two ships, with the.- captains, were carried 
,,tl' to a Russian port. This achievement by 
Captain Bougatoff was a bold one to elude 
twentv-i'"ur sail of the line, and to carry off two 
trading- vessels; it greatly elated the Russians, 
and equally mortified and irritated the Allies, 
who felt humbled in the eyes of the Turks by 
such an event. 

The coal-ships here referred to had taken in 
their cargoes at Heraclea. The mines near this 
place became of considerable importance to the 
Allies, considering the large number of steam-sliips 
employed by them in and near the Black Sea. 
When the news of the actual declaration of war 
by England and France reached Constantinople, 
coal at that place was C5s. per ton ; the coal-ships 
from England had not now back-freight in corn ; 
hence a price was charged for the coal which would 
cover the expense of a double voyage. It was at that 
time that the attention of the admirals Avas drawn 
towards the Heraclea coal-fields, where the seams 
were worked by Croats, Montenegrins, Bosnians, 
and other workmen drawn from the quarries near 
Constantinople ; the coal, when dug, was carried in 
baskets from the mines to the surface by labourers 
from the neighbouring villages ; and from thence it 
was transported to the coast by mules. The whole 
operations were conducted in the rudest and most 
primitive manner ; but when a few English 
engineers were sent to superintend the workings, 
the system underwent improvement. It was in 
consequence of a visit to these mines by the officers 
of the Spitfire steamer, that the arrangement was 
made, mentioned in a former page, whereby the 
Allies might obtain coal at about 20s. per ton. 
A certain district Avas ceded by the Porte, at a 
specified rental, to be Avorked by English skill and 
capital, for the benefit both of the English and the 
French steam-fleets. Many difficulties, hoAvever, 
occurred in the carrying out of this plan. So much 
in its infancy is commercial enterprise in Turkey, 
that any attempt to conduct large enterprises on 
European principles encounters many obstacles. 

Early in March, Admiral Dundas despatched 
Captain Jones, in the Sampson, on a reeonnoiter- 
ing cruise along the coasts of Anatolia, Georgia, 
Circassia, and the Crimea, from Avhich he 
returned to Beicos Bay about the 18th of the 
month ; and soon after the Allied fleets left the 
Bosphorus, and took up a position in Kavarna 
Bay, a portion of the Black Sea a little northward 
of Varna. An earlier removal to this position 
had been contemplated, but the steamers had been 
delayed by reason of a difficulty in obtaining coal 
the arrangements at Heraclea being yet very 
incomplete. The fleets at that time comprised ten 
English and eight French line-of-battle ships, Avith 
six Engli.-h and six French steamers of smaller 
size; other additions were made afterwards. 



The Russian coasts of the Black Sea, at the 
commencement of the Avar, Avere very little known 
to the English and French admirals ; the jealousy 
between the various pOAvera having restricted the 
facilities for the entrance of ships of war into that 
sea. The Russian portion of this coast commenced 
at the easternmost extremity of the sea, marked 
by Fort St Nikolai'a, near which, on the Turkish 
border, is Batoum. This point is about 330 miles 
eastAvard of Sinope. From thence the Russians 
held all the coast to the Sea of Azof, the entrance 
to which is formed by the Straits of Yenikale or 
Kertch ; then, all the coast of the Crimea ; and, 
lastly, the north-western coast of the Black Sea, 
from Perekop past Kherson and Odessa to the 
mouths of the Danube. Silently and indefati- 
gably had the czars built fort after fort along 
this extensive line of coast ; and it became 
essentially necessary, on the breaking out of Avar, 
that the Allies should knoAv something con- 
cerning the number and strength of these posts. 
At that period, the chief of the forts eastAvard of 
the Crimea Avas at Anapa, distant a few miles 
from the Straits of Yenikale. This important 
fortress, originally constructed by the Turks to 
protect their commerce with the tribes of the 
Caucasus, had been after Avards converted by the 
Russians into a strong military position. Com- 
mercially, it is of little account, for the harbour is 
open to every Avind, and can onl} r be used in the 
fine season. The western chain of the Caucasus 
commences at Anapa ; and this Avas practically 
the eastern limit of Russian poAvcr on that sea ; for 
the Circassians laid claim to all the coast, and the 
Russians have never succeeded in establishing any 
first-class forts beyond Anapa. The forts further 
east have ahvays been isolated ; the garrisons being 
in danger of annihilation if they left the protection 
of stone walls. At a short distance from the coast 
are mountains and forests, among which the 
Circassians and other tribes find a home ; the 
Russians have seldom yet been left by these tribes 
in quiet possession of the north-east shores of the 
Black Sea. At the period of the commencement 
of the Avar, the first Russian fort eastAvard 
of Anapa Avas Soudjuk Kale (Sudjuk Kaleh), 
defended by three redoubts; it Avas at this place 
that a Russian squadron captured the British ship 
Vixen, causing thereby great diplomatic excite- 
ment in 1837. Next to this Avas Gheleudjik 
(Gelendshik), possessing a fine and safe harbour, 
and regarded by the Russians as a place of much 
importance : a flotilla being there located, to watch 
the moA-cments of the Circassians. A few miles 
further east is the Bay of Pchiat, at the entrance 
of Avhich the Russians built a fort in 1837. 
Numerous little bays then occur, fringed with 
villages, the inhabitants of Avhich have succeeded 
in repelling all hostile attacks of the Russians. 
After passing Kavakinskoi and Gagri, there Averc 
presented Puzunda and Bomborai in Abasia ; and 
then Soucoum Kale (Suchum Kaleh), possessing one 
of the best bays on this part of the coast. At the 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA : 1854. 



109 



mouth of the small river Ingour was Fort Anaklia. 
Redout Kale* and Poti, at the mouths of two 
other small rivers, were also provided with 
Russian forts. The last Russian fort was at St 
Nikolai'a, near the boundary between the ancient 
provinces of Mingrelia and Gouriel. The Russian 
forts, from the Straits of Yenikale to the Turkish 
frontier, were about sixteen in number. 

During the summer, many a cruise was made to 
these Circassian coasts, first as a matter of recon- 
naissance, but after the declaration of war, as a 
means of conquest or destruction. Fort after fort 



was visited, and the exact state of all ascertained. 
Dotting the coast at intervals of ten or twenty 
miles apart, these forts were found to present a 
general family-likeness : they were mostly situated 
at the mouths of small mountain rivers, so as to 
command the valleys through which these streams 
find their way to the sea. The country intervening 
between the forts is for the most part hilly and 
rugged, matted with impenetrable forests. The 
forts were found to be mostly constructed of sand- 
stone, brought from Kertch ; they were square, 
loopholed for musketry, provided with towers at the 







angles, and mounted with a few large traversing- 
guns, with a mortar or two in the centre ; the walls 
were somewhat lofty, to frustrate escalade by the 
Circassians. Each fort had a garrison of 500 to 
1000 men, living in wooden barracks. A strong 
stockade on the outside enclosed a few outhouses, 
a small vegetable garden, and a small number of 
cattle and horses. If, on the one hand, the Russians 
commanded the whole coast by means of gun-boats 
cruising from fort to fort, they were, on the other 
hand, restricted entirely to the coast ; for even in 
an expedition of a few miles in search of fodder, 
it was necessary that the troops should sally out 
in battle-array, lest they should be cut off' by the 
Circassians. 

Most of these forts were blown up by the 
Russians, after removal of the garrisons, to prevent 
capture by the Allies. When' Sir Edmund Lyons 
was engaged on one of these expeditions in May, he 
allowed the officers to go on shore to inspect the 
blown-up fort at Gagri, situated at the mouth of 
a deep gorge. The place had evidently been 



evacuated in a hurry; for the ordnance stores were 
strewed about, including thirteen guns, several 
10-inch mortars and howitzers, iron-balls to be 
fired from the mortars, shells, and canister-shot. 
The fort was square, with bastions at the angles ; 
and there was a block-house at some distance from it 
up the valley, to command the passage. At another 
spot, the voluntary destruction took place under 
the very eyes of the Allies. Sir Edmund Lyons, 
with the Agamemnon, Charlemagne, Highflyer, 
Sampson, and Mogador, appeared off Redout Kale 
on the 19th of May ; he saw Russian officers on 
the parapet of the fort, and Cossacks galloping at 
full speed from the beach towards the town ; he sent 
a flag of truce, demanding the immediate evacua- 
tion of the place. The Russians remitted an evasive 
answer, to gain time ; and just before the ships 
were about to open fire, masses of smoke began 
to ascend from the town the Russians had fired 
it. The conflagration became very striking ; houses 
and trees burned together during the whole night ; 
and fierce flames and lurid smoke illuminated the 



110 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



decks of the ships. Redout Kale" was the most 
important of all the Russian forts between Anapa 
and the Turkish frontier; it was on the Georgian 
coast, commanding the communication between 
Titlis and the Black Sea; and was the place of 
landing for many of the troops of the Russian 
army of Asia. Redout Kale, or what remained 
of it, was handed over to the keeping of the Turks 
as soon as their Allies had frightened the Russians 
from it; the Turks proceeded immediately to 
repair some of the fortifications ; while the 
Sampson, under Captain Jones, remained in the 
harbour as a protection. 

About the middle of March, just before the 
actual declaration of war, but when war was 
inevitable, the Emperor Nicholas had ordered 
the abandonment of all the forts, except the three 
of greatest importance namely, Anapa, Soudjuk 
Kale, and Redout Kale"; and thus it arose that 
the forced evacuation of the last named was 
regarded as important by the Allies. Sir Edmund 
Lyons, in the course of this expedition, examined 
the Straits of Yenikal6, opening into the important 
Sea of Azof; but the result of his examination 
was to deter him from any immediate operations 
in that quarter, owing to the shallowness of the 
water. One of his ships grounded in water marked 
'deep' on the Russian charts, and was with 
difficulty set afloat again ; this, and many other 
events during the war, induced a belief in some 
quarters, that the Russian authorities had purposely 
sanctioned the dissemination of erroneous charts, 
so as to entrap their enemies. 

Viewed in relation to the immediate necessities 
of the Turks, the east end of the Black Sea was 
regarded by the Allies as of more importance than 
the northern coast ; and it was on this account 
that one or two ships of war remained for several 
weeks off Redout Kale. Nor was the precaution 
superfluous ; for the Russians, in June, returned 
to the place from the heart of Georgia, and would 
perhaps have besieged it but for the presence of 
a couple of formidable war-steamers. The English 
officers were glad to have something definite to 
employ them ; but the swampy region, in a hot 
season, occasioned much visitation of ague. The 
officers of the Sampson were one day agreeably 
Mir prised by the appearance of that much-coveted 
luxury London porter ; a commodity little to be 
expected then at Redout Kale, in the midst of 
the confused nationalities of Russians, Turks, 
Circassians, and Georgians. It appeared, from 
investigations subsequently made, that a French 
trading- vessel, ladeii with London porter and other 
commodities, had entered Kertch about the time 
of the declaration of war, but was not allowed to 
land her cargo ; she then tried Soucoum Kale, 
where, by a manoeuvre not altogether creditable, 
a native chieftain contrived to possess himself of 
the bottled luxury without paying for it. Ulti- 
mately, the beverage was offered to Captain 
Jones as a free gift; but he insisted upon pay- 
ing for it> at the legitimate London prices of 



cightpenco and fourpence per bottle, according to 
the size. 

Before tracing the naval operations of the 
Allies in other parts of the Black Sea, during 
the spring and summer of 1854, it may be desirable 
to notice how far, and in what manner, the 
Turks were enabled to take part in these 
operations, by aiding those Allies who had come 
to aid them. 

The Turkish fleet underwent a re-organisation 
soon after 1770, in which year the Turks had 
received a signal defeat from the Russians in the 
Gulf of Tchesme". Hassan Gha/i, the commander 
of the principal Turkish ship in that engagement, 
was one of the few survivors ; he was appointed 
Capudan Pacha, or chief admiral, by Sultan 
Mustapha, and immediately commenced a reform 
of the Turkish navy. The duty of the fleet, up to 
that time, had been chiefly to make summer trips 
to the different pachaliks, to collect the tribute 
payable by the pachas to the sultan ; and, in a 
smaller degree, to hunt down the pirates in the 
Greek waters. The ships Avere heavy, unmanage- 
able, and slow. Subsequent to the battle of 
Tchesme, Hassan caused lighter ships to be built, 
but was unable to effect reform in armament, 
stores, or crews. After him, another naval 
reformer appeared, in the person of Kutchuk 
Hussein Pacha. Appointed Capudan Pacha by 
Sultan Selim, he sent to France and Sweden for 
skilful shipwrights ; adopted the terms employed 
in the French naval service ; established, or 
rather re-organised, a mathematical school for 
marine officers and engineers ; subjected the crews 
to repeated and strict disciplinary exercises ; felled 
immense quantities of ship-building timber in the 
vast forests in the southern chain of the Taurus ; 
and in six years built twenty sail-of-the-line at 
Constantinople, Sinope, and Rhodes. 

The French traveller, D'Olivier, who visited 
Turkey during the reign of Selim, found an 
efficient fleet of about forty Avar-ships, mostly 
constructed by Kutchuk Hussein. Speaking of 
the state of things Avhich had existed shortly 
before, he said : ' Ships of Avar were not long 
since fitted up in such a manner, that each Turk 
had Ms berth, and everything necessary for his 
cooking and other arrangements. The between- 
decks were so encumbered, that it was frequently 
very difficult to make use of the great guns, 
and the Mussulmans might receive several broad- 
sides from the enemy before they were in a 
condition to repel an attack. The guns them- 
selves were of different calibres, and served 
without order or preparation ; the shot which 
Avere brought for loading the cannon, Avero 
frequently either too large or too small rendering 
a ship of great power unable to cope Avith one 
much smaller.' Of the sailors he observed : ' The 
Turks, in general, are not fond of the sea. They 
cannot conform to the active life Avhich a seaman 
is obliged to lead ; they cannot accustom themselves 
to the privations Avhich that profession entails. 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA : 1854. 



Ill 



They commonly prefer making use of the Greeks, 
who display in this line, as in every other, an 
intelligence and an activity of which the Turks 
are incapable. The Greeks manoeuvre tolerably 
Avell, and conduct their little vessels with much 
skill in the seas with which they are acquainted ; 
but they have not the smallest theory of naviga- 
tion : almost all of them navigate without a 
compass, steer only by their knowledge of the 
mountains and coasts, bear up for every wind 
that blows somewhat strongly, and wait for fine 
weather in the nearest port.' * In short, the navi- 
gation of ancient times was retained even in 
modern days. 

The period to which D'Olivicr's description 
relates was about 1798. Soon after this, many 
improvements were made. The Turks 'introduced 
order into their ships, kept the spaces 'tween-decks 
more clear, acquired more skill in gunnery, and 
organised the daily duty with more intelligence. 
The sailors were Turks of the maritime villages, 
or Greeks of the Archipelago, and received regular 
pay ; the marines were all Mussulmans, who 
received pay only so long as their ship was in 
commission. The Greek sailors were intrusted 
Avith the working of the ships : the Mussulmans 
with the defence. In certain state exigencies, the 
sultan had the power to summon merchant-ships 
and merchant-seamen to his service. After the 
death of Hussein Pacha, the improvements were 
checked, and the Turkish navy fell again into a 
very depressed and inefficient state. During the 
first quarter of the present century, the fleet 
was weak ; the disastrous battle of Navarino, on 
October 20, 1827, nearly annihilated it ; and the 
establishment of the independent kingdom of 
Greece, deprived the Porte of the aid of Greek 
sailors from the Morea and its islands. The 
Turkish navy had to be created almost anew. This 
duty was intrusted by Sultan Mahmoud to Tahir 
Pacha, the grand-admiral ; he, being a clever and 
earnest man, worked sedulously at his task, and in 
ten years raised Turkey to an honourable rank 
among the second-rate maritime powers. In 1840, 
during the contest between the sultan and his 
rebellious vassal Mehemet Ali of Egypt, the 
Turkish admiral, Achmet Fezir Pacha, treacher- 
ously betrayed his fleet into the hands of Mehemet ; 
but a restitution was subsequently made. The 
steam navy, which had been commenced in 1837, 
made rapid progress between 1840-50 ; and all 
the elements of a naval armament received steady 
improvement. At the time of the breaking out 
of the war in 1853, the Turkish navy comprised 
two 3-deckers of 120 to 130 guns ; two of 74 to 90 
guns ; ten sailing-frigates, of 40 to 60 guns ; six 
corvettes, of 22 to 26 guns ; fourteen brigs, of 
12 to 20 guns ; sixteen schooners and cutters, of 
4 to 12 guns ; six steam-frigcttes, of 450 to 800 
horse-power ; and twelve steam-vessels of smaller 
dimensions making a total of about seventy vessels. 

* Voyage dans F 'Umpire Ottoman, VEgypte, et la Perse. 



The navy was under a Capudan Pacha, or grand- 
admiral, assisted by an Admiralty ; and the general 
organisation of the fleet bore a resemblance to 
that of the fleets of the Western Powers except 
in this, that the crews were divided into com- 
panies, analogous to the military companies of 
a regiment of the line. The sailors were about 
34,000 ; the marines, 4000 ; and in the bravery of 
the men, and the construction and management 
of the ships, the Ottoman navy had attained a 
creditable position. 

The sanguinary but cowardly attack by the 
Russians at Sinope weakened the Turkish navy 
and exaspei-ated the Turks. In the subsequent 
naval operations in the Black Sea, the Turkish 
ships seldom acted alone, but usually formed com- 
ponent elements in the Allied fleets. Sometimes 
the English officers and seamen looked down with 
a little contempt on their Ottoman allies ; but 
there is no proof that this was justifiable, for the 
Turks shewed themselves ever ready to bear their 
share of enterprise and danger. 

During the early part of the year 1854, the 
Turkish fleet was not applied to much use by the 
Allied admirals ; but on the 4th of May, it left 
Constantinople for the Black Sea, after a long 
detention in the Bay of Buyukdere. It was a fine 
fleet of 22 ships, comprising one first-rate of 124 
guns, the Mahmoudie ; three of 104 guns; two 
of 90 ; two of 84 ; and one of 74. One of the 
84-gun ships, the Techrifie, was commanded by an 
Englishman, who had been many years in the 
Turkish service Admiral Slade, under his Oriental 
designation of Mouchavir Pacha. The fleet also 
comprised three large frigates, two brigs, and 
seven or eight steamers. The fleet was inspected 
before its departure by Mehemet, the Capudan 
Pacha. Admiral Slade, combining his experience 
as an English naval-officer with his knowledge of 
Turks and Turkey, was a valuable coadjutor in 
the fleet. This fleet, after conference with the 
Allied admirals, was bound for the Circassian 
coast, to aid in those operations already described. 
It appears, however, that little as the English and 
French fleets effected in the Black Sea during 
that year, the Turks were permitted hardly any 
share even in that little. A correspondent at 
Constantinople of one of the journals, writing in 
August, thus commented on the matter: 'With 
all deference to nautical men, it may be allowed 
to regret that this squadron, strong in the number 
and size of its vessels, and in, at least, the valour 
and determination of its crews, was not turned to 
a better use during its last visit to the Black Sea. 
To hear the contemptuous manner in which the 
English officers have spoken of it, and of the 
necessity of keeping it quiet for fear of its impeding 
the operations of the Allies, one would think that 
a succession of Trafalgars had occupied the last 
few months, and that these inexpert Mussulmans 
had been condemned to Baltschik Bay that they 
might not interfere with the activity and brilliancy 
of our own operations. But where nothing is 



112 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



done, the Turk stands as high as his supercilious 
critics. No doubt the Ottoman sailors, though 
c.-ipal'li- of obstinate resistance in a fight like that 
i -I' Sinope, are not sufficiently skilful for elaborate 
evolutions ; still, they might have been made more 
serviceable than they were during their two 
months in harbour, where they died of starvation 
and scurvy, and were as useless as if they had 

remained within the Bosphorus The 

unhappy Turks were left, without money or neces- 
saries, to starve in the sight of plenty, and perish 
with disease elose to crews in perfect health. 
They saw provisions bought up and taken to the 
Allied fleet, while they had nothing but their 
wretched allowances ; they became demoralised 
and dispirited, and out of their moderate squadron 
they lost 1000 men.' The Turks had, indeed, no 
great reason to be delighted with their Allies, who 
failed to come to their aid during the critical 
exigencies of the Danubian campaign and the 
siege of Silistria, and neglected their Avilling and 
well-meant co-operation in naval matters. 

It is now time to trace the small achievements 
of the great fleets for in such terms they must 
in candour be characterised in the Avestern half 
of the Black Sea, during the spring and summer 
of 1854. 

The news of the declaration of war reached the 
combined fleets at Varna on the 9th of April, and 
immediately threw officers and men into a state of 
heroic excitement. They felt ready to attack the 
Russians anywhere, everywhere ; and impatiently 
waited for orders to that effect from their com- 
manders. Already, besides the preliminary expe- 
ditions to the Circassian coast, there had been 
a few hasty trips to the neighbourhood of the 
Crimea and Odessa, intended as a means of picking 
up a little information concerning the strength of 
the Russian land and sea forces in those quarters ; 
but an English consul remained at Odessa so long 
as hostilities had not actually commenced. When, 
however, the news of the declaration of war 
arrived, the steamer Furious was despatched from 
Varna to Odessa to bring away the consul. With 
a flag of truce flying at her mast-head, she anchored 
in the bay, and sent off a boat, also carrying a flag 
of truce. A delay in obtaining an answer induced 
the lieutenant in command of the boat to return 
towards the steamer ; but no sooner did he do so, 
than the Russians opened a fire from the batteries; 
live or six shots were aimed, but fortunately none 
hit the boat. This breach of all the rules of 
honourable warfare aroused much indignation in 
the fleet, which immediately advanced, and 
anchored before Odessa on the 20th of April. An 
explanation was demanded of General Osten- 
Sacken, military commander of Odessa. The 
general had before this date written to Admiral 
Dundas, expressing his surprise at the report that 
a British flag of truce had been fired upon ; stating 
that the boat had not been fired upon at all, and 
that the batteries had only opened upon the 
Furious when sh- came with hostile intention 



within range of the guns. To this letter the 
admirals returned the following reply from the 
fleet before Odessa on the 21st : 

' SIR Inasmuch as the letter of your Excellency, 
dated the 14th of April, which has only reached us 
this morning, only sets forth erroneous statements to 
justify the indescribable aggression committed by the 
authorities of Odessa upon one of our frigates and her 
boat, both carrying a flag of truce ; 

Inasmuch as, notwithstanding this flag, the batteries 
of the town fired several shots on the frigate, as well as 
on the boat, at the moment when this boat was leaving 
the quay of the mole, to which it had repaired with 
confidence ; 

The two Vice-admirals commanding the combined 
squadrons of France and England think themselves 
entitled to demand a reparation from your Excellency. 

Consequently, all the British, French, and Russian 
vessels now at anchor near the citadel, or the batteries 
of Odessa, must forthwith be delivered up to the 
combined squadrons. 

If, at sunset, the two Vice-admirals have received no 
answer, or a negative answer, to this communication, 
they will be compelled to resort to force to avenge the 
flag of one of the combined squadrons for the affront 
offered to it; although the interests of humanity induce 
them to adopt this alternative with regret, and they 
cast the responsibility of such an act on those to whom 
it belongs. 

HAMICLIX, Vice-admiral. 
D. DUNDAS, Vice-admiral.' 

No adequate response to this demand having 
been received, the admirals prepared to bombard 
Odessa. 

The celebrated commercial seaport thus about 
to be placed in peril, is situated at the north- 
west extremity of the Black Sea, about 125 miles 
north-east of the Sulina mouth of the Danube, 
and 200 miles north-west of Sebastopol. It is at 
the head of a small inlet, called the Bay of Adschai. 
When, in 1791, the Empress Catherine obtained 
from the Turks possession of the district around 
this spot, Odessa was a mere village, passing under 
the name of Kodschabeg. Intensely desirous 
as Russia had long been of obtaining a good 
seaport on the Black Sea, Catherine immediately 
began to give effect to this wish by converting the 
humble Kodschabeg into the imperial Odessa. 
She employed several regiments in digging the 
foundation, and in constructing public works. 
The site was well chosen ; for although there is 
no river, the bay is deep even close inshore, and 
is rarely fro/en except in intense winters. The 
work steadily progressed, and Alexander completed 
what Catherine had begun : he appointed the 
Due de Richelieu, a French emigrant nobleman, 
governor ; and under the duke's auspices the town 
and port rapidly acquired importance. At first 
inhabited only by a few Greek families, its popu- 
lation rose to 15,000 in 1804; and in 1854, the 
inhabitants probably numbered 100,000. The 
town is regularly built in the form of an oblong 
parallelogram, on a declivity sloping towards the 
sea. The harbour, formed by two large moles, 
and defended by strong works, will accommodate 
200 vessels. Near it, are a citadel, a quarantine 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA .1854. 



113 



harbour, a light-house, and the Admiralty port ; 
and facing the centre of the harbour are extensive 
barracks. The streets of the city are broad, and 
well paved ; the houses of stone, and generally two 
stories in height. The sea-front, on either side of 
the harbour, is adorned with several magnificent 
houses, belonging to Prince Woronzoff, the highest 
officials, and the rich merchants; and a splendid 
walk or boulevard, planted with rows of trees, and 
occupying a broad space between the houses and 
the cliftj is a favourite spot for promcnaders. A 
flight of steps one of the finest in Europe leads 

. _._ 



up from the beach to the cliff'; and the city contains 
many pleasant squares and colonnades. Com- 
mercially considered, Odessa is by far the most 
important town in Southern Russia; its exports 
of corn, tallow, wool, and other articles of domestic 
produce, are very large ; and it is the entrepot of 
extensive stores of European manufactures for 
Russian use. In the few years immediately pre- 
ceding the war, Odessa sent out 1500 laden ships 
annually. One who knew the town well, has thus 
described Odessa and its inhabitants as they ap- 
peared in 1853 : ' Odessa is a very peculiar town, in 




ODESSA. 



which nearly every nation in Europe is represented. 
Through this variety in the population, it bears a 
great resemblance to Tiflis, except that here the 
confusion of peoples is still more confounded, and 
is more visible, through the publicity of living in 
the East. In Tiflis, too, the Asiatic clement is 
more fully represented ; while in Odessa, Europeans 
are most numerous. Odessa is certainly a Russian 
commercial town ; but it possesses the Russian 
character in so slight a degree, that it can hardly 
be considered so. The number of actual Russians 
is in no proportion to that of Greeks, Italians, and 
Germans. The military, and swarms of officials, 
are alone Russian ; but even among the latter 
there are many non-Russians, principally French 
and German. Odessa possesses something obtained 
from nearly every part of Europe. Externally, 
and principally in public life, 'in the Opera, and 
buildings, we recognise the South European town, 
with a prominent Italian character. The shops 
of the first class are imitations of the French ; but 
they do not equal them in elegance, though their 



owners are principally Frenchmen. The artisan 
class, as nearly through the whole of Russia, is 
German ; German gardeners from the adjacent 
districts supply the market with vegetables. 
Although society is generally regulated after the 
French model, and that language is principally 
spoken, still a yearning for English manners may 
be traced. This is very evident in the clubs. 
The cause may be found in the circumstance, that 
Prince Woronzoff was educated in, and always 
displays a preference for the customs of, that 
country.' * But Odessa, like all other showy 
Russian towns, loses its attraction immediately 
beyond the barriers : ' It can scarcely be credited 
that a town, which is entirely dependent on the 
interior provinces, and has grown rich through 
their produce, has done nothing at all to facilitate 
the mode of communication for the poorer inha- 
bitants of New Russia and Bessarabia. As far 
as I am aware, the streets of Odessa are only 

* Koch. The Crimea ; u-ith a Visit to Odessa. 



114 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



macadamised, but not paved ; and even this road- 
Avay erases after the l.arrior is passed. As long as 
it is good weather, and the ground is dry, all goes 
well, for it is quick travelling on the illimitable 
steppe; but wo to the traveller who is compelled 
to proceed into the interior of the country during 
a rainy season! Bottomless roads prevent his 
progress for days.' 

Such is the Russian port which, towards the 
close of April, was bombarded by the Allied fleets. 
It appears that, immediately after the firing upon 
the flag of truce, Osten-Sacken, apprehending that 
serious consequences would follow, issued a procla- 
mation to the inhabitants, advising or ordering 
them to remove into the interior. Immediately 
on the approach of the Allied fleets being observed, 
he sent off telegraphic messages to St Petersburg 
and to Sebastopol, and prepared for resistance. 
After a few merchant vessels had been captured, 
twelve war-steamers opened fire on Odessa on the 
22d ; and in a few hours destroyed the fortifications, 
the batteries, and the military stores; blew up 
two powder-magazines ; sank several ships of war ; 
and carried off about a dozen ships laden with 
munitions of war. No attempt was made to 
capture or destroy the town, or to injure the 
commercial harbour and the merchant shipping 
which it contained ; nevertheless, many of the 
principal buildings, including the Woronzoff 
palace, were destroyed, the steeples of many of 
the churches, and nearly all the windows in the 
town were broken. Odessa had been strengthened, 
in the early part of the year, by seven batteries, 
mounting altogether about fifty guns; and these 
batteries kept up a brisk fire during the ten hours 
the bombardment lasted, but with little injury 
to the Allies. The Russians suffered much more 
considerably; about 200 were killed, and a much 
larger number wounded. The Terrible fired red- 
hot shot, which worked great destruction. The 
bombardment was commenced by the Sampson, 
Furious, Vauban, and Mogador, which were joined 
about two hours afterwards by the Tiger, Terrible, 
Retribution, Arethusa, and three or four French 
steamers. The dockyard, fired by 24-pounder 
rockets, remained burning for two days and 
nights, the flames consuming all the ships and 
stores. 

'Why spare Odessa?' was a question frequently 
asked in England, when the news of this bombard- 
ment arrived. The admirals had issued orders to 
spare the town, the people, and the commercial 
harbour and shipping, as much as possible, aiming 
the shot and shells and rockets so as to destroy 
the government works and property. Probably, 
this course of proceeding was in accordance 
with instructions from home, and a sentiment of 
humanity may possibly have suggested it; but 
forbearance in time of war is not always humane 
in its results. The fleets made no lodgment, main- 
tained no blockade, at Odessa ; they departed the 
next day towards the coast of the" Crimea. The 
inhabitants of Odessa, scarcely crediting the fact 



that they were to be thus released, set energeti- 
cally to work in restoring the defences, and 
strengthening the town ; and the Allies afterwards 
suffered severely from the resources which the 
Russians were enabled to obtain by making 
Odessa a depot. It is in this enlarged sense 
that the policy of having spared Odessa may 
be questioned. 

Shortly after this event, the Tiger, Vesuvius, and 
Niger, were detached from the Allied fleets, and 
ordered to reconnoitre Odessa, concerning which 
the admirals appear to have remained in some 
anxiety. A dense fog speedily led to the separa- 
tion of the three ships ; and on the evening of the 
12th of May, at about six o'clock, the Tiger ran 
aground, four or five miles from Odessa, near a 
light-house, and under a high cliff. The crew imme- 
diately got out her boats, laid the anchor astern, 
and lightened her by throwing the guns overboard. 
The Russians, on the look-out above, did not fail to 
take advantage of the situation of the unfortunate 
ship. The seamen were annoyed with musketry 
while employed in endeavouring to relieve their 
vessel ; and about nine o'clopk, the firing became 
still more determined, by the employment of field- 
pieces. The luckless Tiger a steamer of sixteen 
guns, and about 1270 tons burden resisted until 
Captain Giffard had received desperate wounds, 
and a midshipman and two seamen were killed, 
and one Avounded. The captain, seeing his hope- 
less condition, struck his flag, and the Russians took 
the crew prisoners. At this critical time, the Niger 
and Vesuvius hove in sight. The Russians there- 
upon ordered the prisoners to hasten on shore, 
or they would again fire ; and when the two 
steamers came within gunshot, the prisoners were 
placed in front of the Russians on the beach. 
Captain Giffard and his poor fellows were then 
marched or conveyed to Odessa, where they 
received every kindness from the inhabitants : 
Giffard himself being lodged in the governor's 
house. They were allowed considerable liberty ; 
were permitted to write to their friends ; and were 
visited, under a flag of truce, by the first-lieutenant 
of the Vesuvius. Care seems to have been taken, 
on this occasion, that the Russians should not 
be open to any charge of dishonouring a flag 
of truce. The news speedily reached St Petersburg ; 
and the Invalidc Russc, on the 19th, contained a 
dispatch from General Osten-Sacken to Prince 
Paskevitch stating that the Tiger, when too 
much injured to be preserved, was purposely 
burnt by means of red-hot shot ; that the flag 
and Union-jack had been kept as trophies ; that 
some of the guns had been secured, and taken to 
Odessa ; and that the prisoners, besides Captain 
Giffard, numbered 24 officers and warrant-officers, 
and 201 seamen and marines. Mrs Giffard, Avife 
of the unfortunate captain of the Tiger, went 
to Odessa early in June in the J^'.^n-fiis, Avith 
the determination to share the captivity of her 
husband ; she reached that place on the 9th, but 
found that he had sunk under his sufferings a week 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA : 1854. 



115 



previously. She was allowed to land for a few 
hours to visit his grave, and to converse with 
some of the captured crew of the Tiger ; and she 
received much consideration from the authorities. 

An episode of a remarkable kind is connected 
with this fate of the Tiger the production of a 
volume, narrating the kind treatment and liberation 
of one of the prisoners. In this volume,* every- 
thing Russian is so highly praised, that its tone 
became subject to much commentary. Since 
gentleness has seldom been a characteristic of the 
Russian government, a supposition has been put 



forth that the treatment of the crew of the 
Tiger was a special affair, intended to produce a 
particular effect in Western Europe. Be this the 
case or not, it would be difficult for the most 
ardent admirer of Russia and the Russians to 
overpass Lieutenant Royer in the use of adula- 
tory words and phrases. Apart from the tone of 
the book, however, the facts of the imprisonment 
were simply as follow; When the prisoners 
were landed on the grounds of M. Cortazzi, 
chief magistrate of Odessa, the wounded received 
immediate attention ; and the rest, guarded by 




Destruction of the Tiger. 



a large body of troops, and gazed at by half the 
population of Odessa, were marched off to the 
quarantine-station near the city. Here they were 
comfortably housed, well fed, and kindly treated 
being allowed also to receive letters, clothes, and 
money from English ships, which, as just stated, 
approached under flag of truce for that purpose. 
They were perhaps the first body of English 
prisoners ever made by Russia ; and were treated 
somewhat as pets or phenomena accordingly. Early 
in June, the decision of the czar was received 
concerning the destination of the prisoners : the 
chief officer was to proceed to St Petersburg ; and 
the other officers and men to Riazin, a town about 
100 miles south-east of Moscow the officers 
to travel in carriages, the men to proceed by easy 
marches on foot. An offer, however, having been 
made by the English admiral for an exchange 
of prisoners, this was accepted ; and nearly all 
the crew were liberated at Odessa in July. The 

Royer. The English Prisoners in Russia. 1851 



officers remained more like guests than prisoners 
in that city ; but on the 8th of June, Lieutenant 
Royer started for St Petersburg, in obedience to 
the emperor's rescript. This officer describes his 
long journey in terms very similar to those 
employed by other travellers in Russia, but with 
more of the couleur de rose. He appears to have 
been provided with a good travelling-equipage, 
for he reached Moscow on the 15th. He then 
started by rail for St Petersburg, having for his 
especial use a carriage, 'about ten feet square, 
furnished with two sofas and chairs, a small 
card-table, and two side-tables.' Arrived at St 
Petersburg, the lieutenant was lodged in a good 
hotel. The emperor commanded his attendance 
at Peterhof, a few miles from St Petersburg. 
The lieutenant had an interview with the Grand- 
Duchess Alexandra Josefovna, wife to the Grand- 
Duke Constantino ; and then with the Grand- 
Duke himself: he was delighted with both, and 
describes minutely all the details of his recep- 
tion, his tea, the dresses of the ladies, <fec. On 



Ill 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



the :!.-.tli, ho \vus introduced to tho emperor, 
v, ho, after a short but courteous conversation, 
announced his intention of giving the lieutenant 
his liltertv. < >n tlio ii!Uh, after heing much feted 
l.v odicers of the court and the army, tlie 
lieutenant departed for Kngland. 

Tlie loss of the Tiiti'r was one of tlie mortifying 
incidents of the war for the Allies. Another was 
the death of Captain Parker, which occurred a few 
ba afterwards. I Hiring the closing scenes of 
the Danubian campaign, the iiussians were driven 
by the Allied fleets from the Sulina mouth of the 
Danube ; but in order to complete the expulsion, a 
small expedition was sent to destroy some Russian 
batteries, stockades, and buildings, and it was 
then found that the Russians had not been so 
fully dislodged as had been imagined. Com- 
mander Powell of the Vcsuriu*, wrote a dispatch 
to Admiral Dundas on the 8th of July, giving an 
account of the exploit which had that day caused 
the death of a favourite officer. The following are 
the chief points in this description : ' Captain 
Hyde Parker directed a strong party of boats from 
the Firebrand and Vesuvius to accompany him up 
the Danube, for the purpose of destroying some 
Avorks Avhich were occupied by the Russians. At 
two P.M., the boats entered the Danube, Captain 
Parker's gig in advance. At the bend of the river, 
opposite a number of houses on the right bank 
and a large stockade on the left, a sharp fire was 
opened upon him, and his boat was nearly riddled. 
Some of his men Averc Avounded. The heavy boats 
were coming up, and Captain Parker at once 
pulled back to them, hailing me to land the 
marines, and be ready to storm. This order Avas 
executed by the marines and a detachment of 
seamen in the same gallant spirit with which it 
Avas given. Captain Parker then dashed on shore 
in his gig, and at once advanced Avith a feAV men. 
He Avas in front, and greatly exposed. A tremen- 
dous fire Avas soon opened by the enemy upon 
them, and a feAV minutes after landing, a bullet 
passed through their leader's heart, and in a 

moment this gallant sailor ceased to live The 

command of the force then devolved upon myself. 
I directed the gun-boats and rocket-boat at once to 
be brought to the front; the storming-party Avas 
formed by Lieutenant Jull, R.M.A. ; the gun-boats 
commenced a most effective fire upon the houses 
and battery, and in a short time the enemy's fire 
was silenced. I directed the storming-party to 
advance, and the place Avas entered at a run by 
a detachment of marines and sailors, headed by 
Lieutenant Jull, R.M.A., and Lieutenant HaAvkey, 
R.M. We found that the enemy had alreadV 
retreated at the rear, and so thick Avas the cover, 
that pursuit was in vain. The Avork that AVC had 
taken Avas a gabion-battery, the guns of which 
had been taken aAvay, and the embrasures filled 
up. It consisted of a front along the river, raised 
about 15 feet high, and 400 yards in extent, 
In the rear Avas a morass, and the two Hanks, 
which Avere not 30 yards in length, Avere defended 



as in front. This Avork enclosed about fifty 
government houses, stables, storehouses, and a 
magazine. The Avorks haA'e been entirely demo- 
lished, the houses destroyed, and nothing noAv 
marks the spot but a heap of ruins. Part of the 
town of Sulina, whence the enemy had opened 
lire, has been burnt ; the principal street I have 
thought it proper to spare. There was no means 
of computing the enemy's loss, although they Avere 
seen to fall inside the intrcnchmeuts. I am 
disposal to think that they Avere assisted in carry- 
ing off their Avounded, and even defending the 
place, by some Greeks, as men in the dress of that 
country Avere seen intermixed Avith the Russian 
troops. From the heaA-y fire that Avas opened 
upon us, and from the number that Avere seen 
afterwards collected at a distance, the enemy must 
have been in great force before they retreated.' 

The bravery of Captain Hyde Parker cannot 
be in dispute ; but it may be doubted Avhether his 
valuable life Avas not throAvn aAvay by reckless 
daring, unneeded for the object in view. His loss 
Avas much deplored in the fleets. 

While military operations Avere yet in progress 
between the Turks and Russians on the banks of 
the Danube, Lieutenant Glyn of the Uritannia, 
Avith Prince Ernest of Leiningen, and a body of 
petty-officers and seamen, Avere detached from the 
fleet, and placed at the disposal of Lord Raglan. 
They Avere sent, Avith a party of sappers the Avhole 
body amounting to about 150 men overland from 
Varna to Rustchuk on the Danube. Lieutenant 
Glyn expected to find some Turkish gun-boats at 
that place, Avhich he proposed to man Avith some 
of his sailors. Through some unaccountable delay 
or neglect, the Russians had all this time been 
permitted to maintain a small steam-flotilla in the 
Danube; and the supposition HOAV Avas, that by 
occupying the Sulina mouth of the river, and by 
manning any Turkish gun-boats that might happen 
to be lying at Rustchuk or Giurgevo, the Russians 
Avould be caught betAveen two fires. The sappers 
Avere to be employed in building a military-bridge 
for the Turks over the Danube at Rustchuk. On 
the 8th of July, Lieutenant Glyn and most of his 
1 50 men set out from Varna, all on horseback. They 
returned about six Aveeks afterwards, OA r ergroAvn 
Avith beards and moustaches, covered with dirt, 
and quite Avilling to get back to their OAvn ships 
the expected application of their services at 
Rustchuk not having been realised. The sappers 
remained behind, however, to assist the Turks. 

The achievements yet noticed in the Black Sea, 
were far too trivial to satisfy the aspirations of 
men Avho entered upon the campaign Avith such 
ardour as the British naval-officers and seamen. 
The tars Avished to distinguish themselves by 
daring and successful exploits ; to do something 
Avhich should give them renown Avhen they 
returned to England. They Avere tired of mere 
excursions to the Circassian coast ; of escorting 
Turkish ships ; of firing shot and shell into a toAvn 
Avithout any definite object or result. The bays 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA : 1854. 



117 



at Varna, Kavarna, and Baltschik, were places of 
rendezvous for the fleets in the intervals between 
the periods of active service intervals too many 
and too long to be welcome. The state of inaction 
was found more injurious to discipline than the 
most fatiguing work ; insomuch that the officers had 
difficulty in maintaining good order among men 
whose only fault at that time was that they would 
have preferred occupation to inactivity. When 
Lord Raglan sent word to Admiral Dundas of his 
plan for the overland expedition to the Danube, 
noticed in the last paragraph, and applied for a 
body of seamen, the excitement of the men knew 
no bounds every one wished to go, as a means 
of exchanging listlessness for enterprise ; petty- 
officers came forward, begging to be disrated to 
able seamen, and offering to forfeit all their petty- 
officer's pay if their respective captains would only 
send them on this service. No other arrangement 
could be devised than that of drawing lots ; and 
many an officer envied Lieutenant Glyn and 
Midshipman Prince Ernest, both of the Britannia, 
when they were chosen to conduct the expedition. 
At a later period of the war when the lieutenant 
had become a commander, and the midshipman 
a lieutenant these two officers and thirty of the 
seamen received honorary medals from the Turkish 
government. 

Reference has been made in former pages to 
Sebastopol and the Crimea. It was known that 
the principal stronghold in the southern part of 
the Russian Empire was Sebastopol, near the 
south-west corner of the peninsula of the Crimea ; 
it was felt that a blow in this quarter would be 
a serious demonstration against Russia ; and it 
was from the first seen that preparations might 
judiciously be made for such an expedition. But 
the English government was very ignorant of the 
internal state of the Crimea ; not only was there 
nothing of the cunning system of espionage which 
prevails so largely in Russia, but the authorities 
do not seem to have worked well together in 
obtaining even a small amount of information on 
this important subject. Curious illustrations of this 
fact were furnished, at a later date, by the evidence 
taken before the Sebastopol Committee. The 
Duke of Newcastle wrote to Lord Raglan, the Earl 
of Clarendon to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, and 
Sir James Graham to Admiral Dundas, requesting 
them to obtain all possible information respecting 
the Crimea and Sebastopol ; but the three officials 
do not appear to have worked in concert to this end. 
The Duke of Newcastle, in exonerating himself 
from blame at a later period, considered that 
Admiral Dundas had not made a very energetic 
search for information. His Grace was asked by 
the Committee : ' Do you not recollect seeing in 
those dispatches any accounts of any steps which 
Admiral Dundas had taken, 'or urged to be taken, 
to acquaint himself with the strength of the 
Russian fleet and defences ? ' The answer was : ' I 
don't say that he did not urge any to be taken, 
but I certainly do not think he stated that he had 



taken any. I recollect his stating what he believed 
to be the amount of the Russian forces in the 
Crimea at that time, which certainly was extremely 
inaccurate.' Admiral Dundas, himself giving evi- 
dence, quoted a private letter he had written, 
dated May 10, 1854, before Lord Raglan came to 
the Black Sea : ' Sebastopol is a second Gibraltar. 
We see many new works erected, and from pri- 
soners we learn that the land-side is being equally 
strengthened. An encampment is seen, of large 
size, close to the south of the town ; and we are 
told there are 120,000 men in the Crimea, 30,000 of 
whom are in Sebastopol. The ships fourteen or 
sixteen sail-of-the-line have their sails bent; and 
I expected, when we attacked Odessa, they would 
have come out, and drawn us off to protect the 
steamers ; but now I fear we are doomed to a long 
blockade. I hope you have better information on 
Russian matters than I have been able to get.' 
The admiral, at the same time, disclosed the 
following brief but remarkable confidential note 
which he had written to Sir J. Graham : ' It is 
said all Russians are to be bought or bribed ; 
if so, our diplomatic engines have failed.' 

Whatever may have been the amount of infor- 
mation possessed by the government before the 
Avar, or obtained by diplomatic means at the 
commencement of the war, concerning the strength 
of the Russian forces at Sebastopol, the fleets 
| certainly made many exploratory trips to the 
neighbourhood of the Crimea ; on some occasions 
having a skirmish with the Russians, but generally 
returning without seeing an enemy. The combined 
squadrons left Kavarna Bay on the 17th of April 
for the Crimean and Circassian coasts, and re- 
turned on the 20th of May, after a cruise of about 
five weeks. Admiral Hamelin, writing to the 
French government an account of his proceedings, 
complained that the Russians would not give the 
Allies anything to do. 'It has not depended on 
us that the feats of war which have occurred from 
time to time during that month's cruise were not 
more numerous and more important ; but the 
Russian naval forces have kept themselves so 
completely shut up at Sebastopol, and under the 
shelter of the thousand guns of that place, that 
during twenty days passed in cruising at a short 
distance from that port, we have not been able to 
induce a single vessel of the enemy to venture on 
a combat, even with our look-out vessels. On the 
other hand, our steam-cruisers were picking up 
throughout the whole extent of the Black Sea 
vessels bearing the Russian flag, which constitute 
a tolerably good number of prizes.' The Allies 
were able to make out, in the enclosed harbour at 
Sebastopol, from 14 to 18 Russian sail-of-the-line, 
15 steamers, and 7 frigates. The steamer Fury, of 
6 guns, was engaged in one of the very few smart 
encounters which fell to the lot of the seamen 
during this campaign. Cruising along the coast 
of the Crimea alone, a few days before the com- 
bined fleets started to those regions, the Fury 
espied two small merchant vessels coming out of 



118 



COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES BY THE ALLIES. 



Sebastopol; while two brigs of war and two 
frigates were near the mouth of the harbour. 
She immediately tacked about, captured one of 
the UK-reliant ships, took the crew on board, made 
fast the pri/e by a hawser, and then steamed 
a\vav with all speed. An exciting chase ensued : 
four" large ships in pursuit of one small war- 
steamer, for the frigates and brigs instantly set 
forth after the Fury. The little steamer had a 
start of three miles, but this distance became soon 
diminished ; and she soon afterwards cut her 
prize adrift. Raise her steam as she might, and 
set forth every inch of canvas, she yet could not 
maintain her position ; and she threw overboard 
nearly all her supply of fresh water, to lighten 
her load. After a time, one of the frigates gave 
up the chase, but the other and the two brigs 
maintained it. At length this frigate and the Fury 
came within long-shot of each other, and opened 
fire ; but as the guns of the Fury carried better 
and further than those of the frigate, no great 
harm was received by the former. A Russian 
steamer, however, now approached from Sebastopol, 
and the Fun/, satisfied with its achievement, 
steamed away rapidly out of dangei', to the no small 
mortification of the Russians in pursuit of her. 

In the St Petersburg newspapers of that period, 
occasional mention was made of the British and 
French fleets, but always under such circumstances 
as would imply that those fleets were afraid to 
meet the Eussian ships. In one dispatch from 
Prince Menchikoff, it is stated that ' three enemy's 
steamers were sighted off Sebastopol on the 27th 
of June, but made off as soon as our division went 
out to meet them. The chase of our ships after 
the enemy, two English steamers and one French, 
was accompanied by a cannonade which destroyed 
one of the enemy's boats. . . . the enemy got off 
.... it is possible that they are the same steamers 
which, previous to shewing themselves off Sebas- 
topol, made their appearance that same morning 
at Eupatoria, where they captured a coasting- 
trader, without crew or cargo : as she lay beyond 
musket-shot from the shore, she could not be 
defended.' If this account were corroborated, even 
approximately, by any evidence obtained from 
other quarters, or by antecedent probability, it 
would be satisfactory to present such a dispatch 
with the same degree of fulness as those from 
English and French commanders ; but the frequent 
untruthfulness of the Russian dispatches, rendering 
them unworthy of reliance, was painfully displayed 
throughout the war. In the instance here noticed, 
Captain Darricau of the Descartes, writing to 
Admiral Hamelin, gave an account of a cruise 
made by that French vessel, accompanied by the 
English ships Furious and Terrible, along the 
of the Crimea. The Russian exploit seems 
to have been nothing more than an attempt on 
the part of six large steamers and three men-of- 
war to draw the three exploring-ships into the 
harbour by a cunning and deceptive device, and 
there battering them by an overwhelming force, 



after the example of Sinope : the device failed ; 
the nine ships came out in pursuit of the three ; 
the three hauled up, commenced firing, and did 
not retire until the Russians had gone back to their 
former quarters, behind the granite defences of 
Sebastopol. Such was Captain Darricau's dispatch. 
He further stated, that the three Allied steamers 
proceeded to Cape Chersonesus, a little southward 
of Sebastopol, and there offered battle to two 
Russian ships-of-the-line one a three-decker, and 
two frigates ; but that the invitation was declined. 
Admiral Hamelin, reporting on these occurrences 
to the French authorities, summed them up by 
saying that the three Allied ships could not per- 
suade the Russians to measure strength with them. 
Analogy, furnished by subsequent experience, 
enables us to decide on the relative merits of these 
conflicting accounts of one and the same event. 

On the 2d of July, the French squadron under 
Admiral Bruat joined that under Admiral Hamelin 
at Baltschik ; bringing 9000 troops from Gallipoli 
to Varna, and strengthening the French fleet in 
the Black Sea. There were then, anchored off 
the line of coast between Varna and Baltschik, 
seventeen British ships-of-war the Agamemnon, 
Britannia, Queen, Trafalgar, Albion, Vengeance, 
London, Bellerophon, Rodney, Retribution, Sidon, 
Tribune, Diamond, Caradoc, Sanspareil, Simoom, and 
Spitfire; together with fourteen French line-of- 
battle-ships and several steamers. This magni- 
ficent combined fleet remained, with very little 
to do, during a further period of two months. 
The officers interchanged visits, and astonished the 
Turks at Varna with a sight of the games of 
cricket and quoits ; but they yearned for more 
stirring employment. On the 21st of July, the 
greater portion of both fleets sailed and steamed 
out of harbour, bound on another exploratory 
cruise, and carrying out some of the generals of the 
Allied armies. While progressing northwai-d, the 
men were overjoyed with the report that ' twenty- 
three ships were in sight ;' they formed visions of 
brisk actions and Russian prizes ; and were not a 
little chagrined to find that the ships turned out 
to be trees, off the St George's mouth of the 
Danube. On the 25th, three of the steamers went 
ahead of the fleet, and cut across to Sebastopol ; 
these steamers, the Fury, Terrible, and Cacique, had 
on board Sir George Brown, General Canrobert, 
Sir Edmund Lyons, ami the chief pilots of the 
two fleets ; their mission being minutely to examine 
Sebastopol and the adjacent coast of the Crimea. 
An officer in the fleet thus described what took 
place : ' The Fury, Terrible, and a French steamer, 
were purposely sent in somewhat ahead, so as to 
arrive at early dawn. The moment they shewed 
themselves, there were commotion and preparation 
in the harbour ; steamers sent up tall columns of 
smoke, to help out the large ships, which unfurled 
sails, &c. But before they had sallied out to chase 
away these impertinent foes with an overwhelming 
force to be recorded in a magnificent dispatch as 
a grand victory the signalman on the hills above 



THE FLEETS IN THE BLACK SEA : 1854 



119 



descried the fleet coming in ; so the steamers 
moved up into the dockyard creek, and put their 
fires out ; the ships furled their sails ; and we were 
tranquilly allowed to make a narrow examination 
of them and their prison from sunrise to sunset 
of a beautiful clear summer's day. Before we came 
up, the Fury, Terrible, and French steamer had 
ventured in rather near to the north side of the 
harbour, and several shots were fired at them. 
The distance might have been about a mile and a 
half, and the Russian fire was so good, that the 
rigging of the Terrible was cut immediately, and 
the little Fury was hulled just below the water : 
the ill-conditioned shot destroying two jars of the 
midshipmen's butter in their berth. Luckily, 
nobody was touched. The fire was returned, and 
the steamers moved on. The works on the 
northern shore have been much strengthened since 
my last look at the place, and the strength of the 
sea-batteries is undeniable. Inside, the Russians 
have, of course, a complete sense of security at 
present. No sea-force could damage them without 
exposing itself to destruction. With telescopes we 
could see the men bathing from the two or three 
liners behind the booms at the harbour's mouth.' 

The fleets returned to Varna and Baltschik, after 
the generals and admirals had satisfied themselves 
by a close examination of the formidable Sebas- 
topol ; and then ensued another period of inaction. 
During the several expeditions to the north-west 
portions of the Black Sea, some of the ships had 
frequently approached near Odessa; and on those 
occasions the ladies could be seen, seated on the 
cliffs, shaded by their pink parasols, watching and 
sketching the English ships. When, however, 
late in the month of August, the Allied fleets and 
armies, after a wearisome period of sickness and 
detention, prepared for a vast expedition to the 
Crimea, the inhabitants of Odessa were thrown 
into a state of great trepidation. The following 
proclamation was posted up on the walls : 

'To THE INHABITANTS OF ODESSA. The enemy is 



again seen, in greater force than ever before, at no 
great distance from our city. We are armed, and well 
prepared. Any attempt made by the enemy to land 
will be energetically resisted ; but the guns of his 
vessels have a very long range. Do not lose courage, 
but keep wet cloths and hides of oxen prepared to cast 
over any shells which may be thrown into the city. 
Tubs full of water must be kept on the roofs of the 
houses, so that any fire may be at once extinguished. 
Should the enemy, however, carry on the war with 
obstinacy under protection of his guns, we will retire 
to Tiraspol, after having reduced the city to ruins and 
ashes, so that no asylum may be found. Wo be to 
those who may remain behind, or attempt to extinguish 
the fire ! 

KBUSENSTEKN, Governor. 

August 30, 1854.' 

This Moscow-like proclamation increased the 
consternation. Almost all the corn was removed 
to Tiraspol, a town on the Dniester, sixty miles 
from Odessa; the women and children were sent 
away ; the pavement of the streets was taken up ; 
the male population were drilled every day; and 
the defences were strengthened. No attack was, 
however, made ; Odessa was again spared for rea- 
sons which were not publicly known at the time, 
but which will require notice in a later Chapter. 

At length, in the first week of September 1854, 
were completed all the arrangements for one of 
the most formidable enterprises of modern times 
an attack on Sebastopol by the Allied naval and 
military forces, comprising, in effect, three fleets 
and three armies. This was to be the crown- 
ing reward for all that the soldiers and sailors 
had suffered from insufficient employment. The 
detentions at Malta, at Gallipoli, and Bulair ; at 
Adrianople and Constantinople ; at Scutari and 
Unkiar-Skelessi ; at Varna and Aladyn and Devna 
all were to be compensated to the troops by 
an immediate and important onslaught on the 
Russians. The delays at Besika and Beicos, at 
Varna and Baltschik all were to be made up to 
the tars by a dashing attack against Russian ships 
or Russian granite forts. 




BALTSCHIK. 






CHAPTER 



JifUi 

;// WJouni! 

-^, 

V. 

- 

HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS IN 1853-4. 







fHILE the Turks were repelling, 
single-handed, the masses of Russian 

[troopfl on the banks of the Danube; 

r -\vhile the English and French armies 
''were slowly creeping along towards 
the Crimea ; while the Allied fleets in 
jthe Black Sea were engaged in small 
"achievements quite disproportionate to the 
number and magnitude of the ships employed ; 
while Europe was being inundated with protocols 
and notes, conferences and treaties, by diplomatists 
who were at war with each other while endea- 
vouring to preserve or to restore peace there 
were warlike proceedings in other parts of the 
neighbourhood of the Black Sea, arising either 
from actual hostilities between the Russians and 
Turks, or from intrigues of Russia among the 
Christian subjects of the sultan. It was only to 
a small extent, and in an indirect way, that the 
English and French allies of Turkey participated 
in these proceedings. Nevertheless, the plans of 
the war, in its larger operations, were influenced 
by this frontier warfare in 1853-4, preceding, as 
it did, in the order of time, the great expedition 
to the Crimea. The operations had relation to 
the position of Schamyl among the Caucasian 
mountains ; to the campaigns on the Turkish 
frontier of Armenia ; to the insurrections, fostered 
by Russia, among the Christian tribes of European 
Turkey ; and to the irritating Russo-Greek irrup- 
tion across the southern frontier of the sultan's 
territorv. 



SCHAMVL, AND THE CAUCASUS. 

Schamyl, the 'prophet-warrior of the Caucasus,' 
has been a name dreaded by the Russians during 
a long series of years. Few great battles are 
recorded in connection with his career; yet has 
he, in a system of mountain-warfare, committed 
terrible mischief on Russia, and materially re- 
tarded the progress of that power towards the 
south-on:- f. Against Schamyl, and chieftains of 
r fame who preceded him, the C/ar Nicholas 
in vain sent powerful forces, under the best 
generals of his empire Ycrmoloft; Paskuvitch, 
Gortchakoff, the two Viliaminoffs, Rosen, Rajewski, 



Aurep, Gfolovine, Grabbe, Veidhadt, Woronzoff- 
all tried, and all failed in subduing the bold 
adherents of Schamyl. 

The association of the name of Schamyl with 
Circassia and the Circassians, in many English 
works, is erroneous. Schamyl was not born in 
Circassia, nor were his military operations con- 
ducted with the aid of Circassians in so great a 
degree as that of other Caucasian tribes. 

The Caucasus is a mountain-range extending 
from the Black Sea to the Caspian, in a line 
bearing slightly to the southward of east. It forms 
the south-eastern boundary between Europe and 
Asia, but is entirely unconnected with any other 
mountain-range belonging to either of those two 
divisions of the globe. It begins near Anapa, on 
the north shore of the Black Sea, and terminates 
at the peninsula of Abcheron, on the west shore 
of the Caspian the distance between these two 
points being little less than 700 miles. The rugged 
mountains extend over a width, from north to 
south, varying from G'O to 120 miles. Tiie highest 
peak of the Caucasus, always snow-clad, is Mount 
Elbruz or Elborus, 1 6,800 feet in height ; the range 
thence westward to Anapa is comparatively of 
small elevation ; but eastward, towards Abcheron, 
the general height is very considerable, including 
Mount Kazbek, 14,400 feet, and Shah Dagh, 13,000 
feet. There are numerous offshoots from the main 
range, some of which stretch out south-west to the 
very shores of the Black Sea. No elevations other 
than mere hills connect the Caucasus with the 
mountains of Armenia and Kurdistan ; while on 
the north, the Caucasus is bounded by plains or 
steppes of almost undeviating level : along the 
whole distance from the inner angle of the Sea of 
Azof to the Gulf of Kouma, in the Caspian, there 
is scarcely a mile of ground so much as 120 feet 
above the level of the Black Sea. The northern 
side of the mountains, however, has more offshoots 
than the southern ; and these offshoots generally 
end abruptly in cliffs .so steep as to be almost 
inaccessible. Instead of mountain -lakes, the 
Caucasus is distinguished for its naphtha-springs 
and mud-volcanoes. 

Nothing can be more different than the aspects 
of the country north and south of the Caucasus. 
The range itself, marked by a thousand jagged 



SCHAMYL, AND THE CAUCASUS : 1853-4. 



121 



fantastic peaks, separated by profound ravines, 
constitutes the Caucasus proper, or White Moun- 
tains ; but beyond this, to the north, is a lower 
range, the Black Mountains; and further yet to 
the north, are the rivers Kuban and Terek, 
forming together nearly a continuous water-line 
from the mouth of the Sea of A/of to the Caspian. 
Beyond this, from the Kuban to the Don, and from 
the Terek to the Volga, is the wretched steppe- 
country, all dust in summer, and all mud in winter, 
with marshes instead of rivers, and reeds instead 
of trees. South of the Caucasus, on the contrary, 



the rich hills and valleys of Mingrelia, Imeritia, 
and Georgia, represent Asian luxuriance in all its 
splendour. 

So much for the general configuration of the 
Caucasus. The next subject for notice is the 
system of roads by which this mighty mountain- 
barrier may be crossed. There are only two such 
roads worthy of the name. One of these runs 
along the shores of the Caspian, at no great 
distance from the sea, in a narrow strip of flat 
country ; it unites the town of Kizlar, on the 
Terek, with Derbend and Baku, where it joins the 




Caucasian Provinces and Parts of Asiatic Turkey. 



rich countries south of the Caucasus. Although 
unencumbered by mountains, this road is difficult 
to traverse on account of numerous rivers, which, 
after the melting of the mountain snows in spring, 
spread over a great extent of country; while, in 
the hotter seasons of the year, the district is very 
unhealthy. The second or more frequented road 
crosses the Caucasus nearly at the centre of its 
length, from Mozdok, on the Terek, to Tiflis, on 
the Koor. A mountain-pass constitutes a portion 
of this road, between the fortresses of Kazibeg and 
Passanaur; the pass is 8000 feet above the level 
of the sea, and is bounded by lofty mountains 
on either side, with the towering Kazbek not far 
distant. The fortress of Dariel gives its name to 
the pass. In some parts of the pass, the road 
runs along the edge of an abyss, which descends 
as far below it as the mountains rise above it. 
The road maintains the character of a pass 
almost to the fortress of Yladikaukas ' Lord of 
the Caucasus' where the valley of the Terek 
may be said to begin. Xot only is this road 



terrific for its permanent characteristics, but the 
difficulties of the traveller are frequently in- 
creased by the sudden fall of avalanches, or the 
sudden swelling of mountain torrents. Both of 
these roads are very ancient ; they were known to 
the Persians and the Greeks at least as far back as 
the time of Alexander the Great. All the other 
routes across the Caucasus are mere mountain- 
paths, which few, except the hardy natives, would 
venture to use. 

Such, then, is the formidable region familiarly 
known as Circassia, but more correctly designated 
Caucasia, or the country of the Caucasian tribes, of 
whom the Circassians are one. The region would 
be a difficult one to enter, to conquer, to hold, under 
any circumstances; but it is rendered yet more 
difficult by the extraordinary diversity among its 
inhabitants. It is supposed that no other country 
on the globe, of equal extent, contains such a 
number of different nations or tribes. Strabo 
spoke of seventy different dialects there even 
in his time. Some of these dialects bear a 



122 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



resemblance to Persian, some to Turkish, some to 
Finnish, while some contain numerous Teutonic 
or German \vord>. A letter of Schamyl's is said 
to have readied Constantinople, and to have 
puzzled all the interpreters, until an Armenian, 
learned in the Caucasian languages, took it in 
hand. The tribes or nations whose names arc 
best known in AVestern Europe are the Tcherkcs- 
kaia or Circassians, the Lesghes or Lesghians, the 
J>;uhe.stanes, the Ossetcs, the Abasians or Abha- 
sians, and the Kabardenes. The Mingreliaus and 
Imeritiaus are inhabitants rather of the southern 
plains than of the mountains. 

The Circassians inhabit chiefly the portion of 
mountain country south and west of the sources 
of the river Kuban plateaux and gorges between 
the rugged peaks, scarcely accessible to any but 
mountaineers. The Lesghians, on the other hand, 
dwell principally among those mountains of the 
Caucasus situate east and south of the source of 
the Terek. As the Kuban rises near the foot of the 
Elbruz, and the Terek near that of the Kazbek, 
these two mountains may conveniently mark the 
limits of the respective countries of the two tribes. 
The whole country from the Kazbek to the Caspian 
is often called Daghestan, and it is here that the 
main struggles have been carried on between 
Russia and the mountaineers. The portion of 
Daghestan more immediately under the control of 
the Lesghians is described as being flanked on the 
north with dense forests of magnificent beeches ; 
twining creepers bind the trees together ; and vast 
boulders, stripped by thousands of winters from 
the granite and porphyry of the upper ranges, and 
borne along by the fierce mountain torrents to the 
valleys and passes which form their beds, afford 
every advantage to the lightly equipped moun- 
taineer every obstacle to an invading force. The 
interior of the country is yet more formidable ; it 
is one mass of ridges and ravines, at the bottom 
of each of which a brawling stream, fed by the 
snows and rains of the upper regions, rushes down 
to the river Koissu or its affluents. 

The origin of the Caucasian people is wholly 
lost in the mists of antiquity. The prevailing 
opinion is, that, instead of being a distinct race or 
tribe, they are remnants of various surrounding 
nations, who, during long centuries of misrule and 
devastating warfare, have taken refuge in the 
mountains. It is thus that may be explained the 
presence of Mongol, Arab, Cossack, Osmanli, and 
Persian elements among them. Although the 
Avhole are hardy mountaineers, they differ much 
in appearance, language, and religion. The Cir- 
cassians of whom there are sub-tribes of the 
Adighe", the Ubighe, and others are Mohamme- 
dans, with a small admixture of Christianity ; 
next to them are the Abasians, more zealous 
Mohammedans ; next, the Ossetes or Ossetians, a 
small Christian tribe ; eastward of these the 
Tchetchenes and the Lesghiaus all fierce believers 
in Islam. The Circassians and the Lesghians, the 
two chief tribes, differ essentially in their form of 



government. The former is feudal : each clan 
having its chief, its nobles, its freedmen, and its 
serfs ; but as there is much mutual jealousy 
between the several clans, they are ill fitted to 
combine for any important extensive operation. 
The Lesghians, on the contrary, were strongly 
democratic, until the day when Schamyl arose 
among them, and converted their democracy into 
a theocracy by claiming to be a prophet as well 
as a warrior. Another point of difference is in 
personal appearance : the Circassians have great 
beauty of form and feature, fair complexion, and 
an open European expression of face indeed, the 
loveliness of the women has led to the notorious 
Circassian slave-trade at Constantinople ; whereas 
the Lesghians exhibit more of the Asiatic element 
darker skin, a deeply-seated eagle eye, and a 
fiercely passionate temperament. 

In past ages, when Georgia was governed by a 
king, his dominions were frequently harassed by 
these mountaineers from the rugged Caucasus, who 
descended southward into the luxurious plains, 
and robbed all whom they encountered. The 
northern or Cossack plains, in like manner, were 
subject to raids from the Caucasians, although the 
country invaded presents far fewer attractions. 
A century and a half ago, the mountaineers were 
split up into an infinite number of clans or petty 
tribes, having no sort of national organisation, and 
professing a religion in which a morsel of Chris- 
tianity was mixed up with a morsel of Islamism. 
It was Peter the Great that incensed them into 
unity of action. ' Russian aggression,' as has been 
well said, 'has caused Caucasian organisation.' 
Peter, when he established his line of military 
posts from the Volga to the Don, may have 
possibly adopted a reasonable course to protect his 
newly acquired territory from turbulent attacks ; 
but when later czars sought to obtain the moun- 
tains from the Caucasians, the enterprise assumed 
a far different character. One incident in the 
history of the district is especially characteristic of 
Russian policy the Ossetians are Christians ; the 
czars, about a century ago, began to 'protect' 
them on account of their Christianity ; and this 
protection has enabled Russia to bring the priests 
into her pay, as a means of Russianising the 
people. 

It was about the year 1785 that the encroaching 
spirit of the czars was first met by fierce resistance 
on the part of the Mohammedan tribes of the 
Caucasus. When they saw that Georgia, and all 
the rich plains south of the mountain?, were 
gradually falling under Russian domination, they 
readily comprehended that their own independence 
was in jeopardy that the continuance of their 
freedom depended on themselves. Religious zealotry 
gave the war-cry, which thenceforward seldom 
ceased to be heard. The Dervish Mohammed, 
better known as the Sheik Mansur, appeared sud- 
denly among the Tchetchenes, exclaiming: 'Ye 
have forgotten Allah and his prophet Mohammed ; 
therefore he has given you over into the hands 



SCHAMYL, AND THE CAUCASUS : 1853-4. 



123 



of the Infidels.' Frugal, ascetic, learned, active, 
energetic, Mausur was well fitted to make an 
impression on the mountaineers, and rouse them 
to united action. After six years of active labour, 
he was captured and put to death by the Russians 
in 1791. Then succeeded a period of many years, 
during which Russia steadily strengthened her 
position in Georgia, disturbed by frequent but 
desultory contests with the Lesghians. Generals 
Zizianoff and Yermoloff, the first two governors 
of the Caucasian provinces of Russia, were able 
men, who strictly carried out the Russian policy : 



they established, from the Sea of Azof to the 
Caspian, a line of Cossack stanitzas, which combined 
the characteristics of villages and forts ; the duty 
of the dwellers in which was to defend the 
northern plains from the mountaineers. To this 
day, the Caucasians and the Cossacks watch each 
other fiercely and untiringly on either side of 
this chain of posts ; and if they chance to meet, 
indiscriminate slaughter ensues. 

In 1823, there lived in one of the Lesghian 
aouls or villages called Jarach, Mohammed the 
Mollah, an Ulema learned in the Koran and in the 




SCHAMYL. 



law. Many pupils attended him; among whom 
was Khas Mohammed, a young man from Bokhara. 
This student, after he had returned to his home, 
with a high repute for the lore which he had 
acquired, became acquainted with a holy man of 
Persia, one Hadji Ismail, whose teachings created 
great excitement among the Mohammedans ; and 
at the invitation of Khas Mohammed, Mohammed 
the Mollah went to visit the holy man. The two 
Mohammeds were earnest in their conference ; 
they seem to have deeply imbued each other with 
y.eal for Islam, and to have been fully aware of 
the designs of the Russian giaour against them 
and their faith. When Mollah Mohammed 
returned to Jarach, an anti-Muscovite feeling 
spread around him, more deeply seated and 
fiercely burning than had yet been exhibited ; 



many young pupils or murids, drinking in enthu- 
siasm from his teachings, acted as emissaries to 
spread the impulse around. General Yermoloff, 
when he heard of these things, took preventive 
measures ; and there immediately commenced a 
system of warfare which met with little respite 
for thirty years. One of many daring chieftains 
whom the occasion brought forward Avas Khasi- 
Mollah : after some years of indomitable struggling 
against the Russians, he fell at Himri, with all Ins 
Moslem supporters dead around him, except one 
young murid or pupil, who, though pierced by 
bullet and bayonet, yet lived. This young murid 
was SCHAMYL. 

From that eventful day, Schamyl never ceased 
to be a leader of the mountaineers, an inveterate 
enemy of the czars, down to the time when the 



124 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



war of 1S">3 brought upon him the attention of 
the Western Towers. His characteristics were 
peculiarly fitted to render him a man of authority 
amoii!,' the ardent tribes of the Caucasus. His 
.,rv from the desperate scene at llimri had 
about it a mystery which to many seemed miracu- 
lous ; and a halo of the supernatural surrounded 
him ever after. On a later occasion, he was again 
the only one preserved among many, in a contest 
arising out of a blood-feud among the mountaineers. 
So rapidly did his power increase, that soon after- 
wards, in 1834, he became virtually, if not 
formally imaum and sultan of the Eastern 
Caucasus. He was then thirty-seven years old 
silent and earnest, intensely determinate, learned 
beyond those of his class and tribe, extremely 
sensitive of defeat or disgrace, sternly impassive, 
and undoubting in his faith that he was a favoured 
recipient of inspiration from Allah ; in person, of 
middle stature, with fair hair, eyes overshadowed 
by well-defined brows, a well-formed nose, a small 
mouth, delicate hands and feet, skin fair and 
fine beyond most of those around him, an air 
noble and dignified, and an eloquence fiery and 
persuasive. 

It was not until 1838 that Schamyl succeeded 
in putting down the pretensions of other leaders 
to supreme power ; but from that date he had no 
competitor. The history of the Caucasus was a 
history of continuous struggle, from 1838 to 1853, 
between Schamyl and the Russians. He sent 
his murids or pupils, missionaries of Islam, from 
mountain to mountain, from village to village, 
rousing up the Lesghians to fight against the 
Muscovite infidels. He established his head- 
quarters at Akhulgo, a place built upon almost 
inaccessible rocks, embosomed in the mountains ; 
this he fortified with trenches, earthen-parapets, 
and covered-ways ; and stored it with provisions 
and ammunition. In 1839, the Czar Nicholas, 
irritated at the fanatic audacity of Schamyl, sent 
against him a powerful Russian force under 
General Grabbe, with orders to attack Akhulgo, 
and to take Schamyl dead or alive. Grabbe twice 
defeated Schamyl at Burtani and at Arguani 
before the latter shut himself up in Akhulgo; 
and then commenced a fearful siege. After an 
enormous loss on the part of the Russians, and 
the destruction of almost the whole of Schamyl's 
force, Akhulgo was taken but not Schamyl. The 
prophet-warrior again escaped, under circumstances 
almost incredible ; and he was thence looked up 
to with more reverential obedience than ever. 

Many a victory is fully as disastrous as a defeat 
to the victors. Such was the case in this instance. 
The Russians took Akhulgo, and slaughtered 1500 
liainyl's followers; but they raised blood- 
feuds between themselves and every tribe in the 
Ka>tern Caucasus; and, moreover, they aroused 
increased hatred on account of their brutal 
conduct on the march towards tribes who would 
at the least have been neutral. Henceforward 
Schamyl's cause was strengthened ; large numbers 



i joined him ; and, taught by experience that his 
mountaineers were not well able to stand against 
the Russian masses in regular battle, he resolved 
on the adoption of a guerilla-warfare a system 
of tactics in which mountains and ravines play 
an important part. Russia tried in vain to 
cope successfully with this system. Year after 
year did Schamyl frustrate all the attempts of 
the generals to root him out of his fastnesses ; 

! they could never boast of a second Akhulgo. The 
prophet-warrior set up his standard at a new 
spot, Dargo an unfortified village, deeply im- 
bedded in a forest. Here he organised a system 
which virtually converted the whole of Lesghistan 
into a vast military colony. He opposed no sort 
of obstacles to the approach of the Russians across 
the frontier of what he considered to be his 
dominions ; rather did he encourage it, until the 
Russians found themselves entangled among thick 
forests, mountain ravines, and passes commanded 
by overhanging rocks then did the half-wild 
Lesghians, climbing upon the steeps and crags, 
pick off the invaders one by one with their fire- 
locks ; until the Russian generals saw their forces 
greatly weakened, without the glory or pretension 
of a regular battle. Persistently did Schamyl adopt 
this system ; losing many warriors, but causing a 
greater loss to his opponents. On one occasion, 
in 1842, General Grabbe made a formidable attack 
on Dargo ; but was repelled with disgrace, and 
with a loss of 2000 men. On another occasion, 
in 1844, Schamyl, with equal success, repelled 
an attack by General Neidhardt. 

The Czar Nicholas became greatly mortified 
and irritated ; he saw that twenty years had 
effected little towards the subjugation of these 

j audacious tribes. In 1845, he appointed Prince 
Woronzoff to the command in the Caucasus ; the 
prince was a skilful and accomplished man, and 

I ranked among the most respected of the Russian 
nobles. Much was expected from this appoint- 
ment. He received powers more plenary than 
is customary with Russian governors, and became 
little less than a king in rank. Against his own 
judgment, as is alleged, but at the czar's com- 
mand, Woronzoff made an attack on Dargo with a 
large force ; he captured it, or rather he captured 
a heap of smoking ruins ; while Schamyl and 
his followers, commanding all the heights and 
passes, intercepted the Russian convoys, com- 
pelled Woronzoff to retreat, and almost anni- 
hilated his army. Generals Wiktoroff, Passek, 
and Fock were killed ; and the prince himself had 
a narrow escape from being taken prisoner with 
the remnant of his army. Russian ingenuity 
converted this capture of Dargo into a victory ; 
but Woronzoff was urgent with his imperial 
master to avoid any more such victories. In the 
next year, 1846, Schamyl assumed the offensive ; 
he made an irruption with 10,000 men into 
Kabardah, a region between the Caucasus and 
the river Terek, crossing the line which is marked 
by the chain of Russian fortresses. This he did 



SCHAMYL, AND THE CAUCASUS : 1853-1. 



125 



again in 1848, in 1850, and in the beginning of 
1853 ; and it continued to require all the watch- 
fulness and energy of the Russians to enable them 
to maintain these fortified posts. 

Such was Schamyl; such the mountaineers of 
the Caucasus. The mischief he caused to the 
Russians is almost inconceivable. Schamyl's 
power extended over about 600,000 souls out of 
a total Caucasian population of 1,500,000 ; but his 
fighting-men never exceeded 20,000, available in 
one spot at a given time. Yet did the Russians 
maintain here a vast army of 80,000 to 150,000 
men, of whom about 20,000 were swept off' each 
year by disease or warfare. Woronzoff kept a 
better hold of the Russianised provinces south of 
the mountains ; but it became a matter of equal 
importance and difficulty to command the military 
road over the Caucasus, by which Georgia is placed 
in connection with European Russia. 

The Caucasians are said to retain a tradition 
that a sultan in the west is one day to arise who 
will finally deliver them from the aggressions of 
the Muscovite. The struggles of 1853-4-5 have 
brought this tradition to memory. Who is this 
sultan to be ; and from what region in the west 
will he come ? The Caucasians, mostly Moham- 
medans, are on friendly terms with the Turks ; 
insomuch that when the European war broke out 
in 1853, men speculated on the possible participa- 
tion of Schamyl and his followers in the contest. 
It is true that these mountaineers would as indig- 
nantly reject any compromise of their independence 
in respect to the sultan as to the czar ; but the 
Padishah of the Osmanlis has reached beyond 
the days of all-grasping dominion ; if allowed to 
hold his own, he will no longer be an aggressive 
neighbour to other nations or races. 

In the case of Schatny], as in that of many other 
heroes around whose names a halo of romance 
has formed, sober facts require a little diminution 
in the brilliancy of any delineation. Mr Duncan, 
who had opportunities of seeing the Caucasian 
mountaineers in time of war, formed an opinion 
that the ill-disciplined and badly-armed warriors, 
though invincible in their mountain fortresses, are 
of little account in the plains of Georgia. These 
hardy men, when their fields are sown, and until 
harvest-time arrives, have leisure and inclination 
for an exciting enterprise, which is none the less 
welcome to them if it involve a scene of plunder. 
They like to descend rapidly and secretly upon the 
Russian or Cossack villages sack, pillage, burn, 
and either make slaves or commit butchery. It is 
true that Cossacks are equally ready to mete out 
the same doom to Caucasians, if they can catch 
them ; and in this respect the relentless enmity is 
paralleled. But in relation to systematic warfare, 
Mr Duncan asserts that a single Russian dragoon 
regiment, backed by a troop of horse-artillery, 
would suffice to rout any force that Schamyl could 
have brought into the Georgian plains around 
Tiflis. A full knowledge of this fact was possessed by 
the chieftain himself, who displayed consummate 



wisdom in disposing of his materials according to 
their capabilities. In their own inaccessible re- 
cesses and wooded heights, the tribes of Daghestan 
are almost unassailable : their weakness begins 
when they descend into the plains. The real 
strength of Schamyl, during the early stages of the 
Russo-Turkish war, was exhibited, not in actual 
conflicts with the Russians, but in the fact that he 
occupied a spur of the mountains which juts down 
southward to within forty miles of Tiflis. He did 
not directly aid the Turks who were fighting in 
Asia Minor ; but he indirectly assisted them by 
keeping the Russians in alarm concerning then- 
safety on the mountain frontier of Georgia. The 
Russian generals, knowing that he might possibly 
stop their supplies and intercept their reinforce- 
ments, felt a necessity for keeping a watchful eye 
on his movements. lie might at any time have 
threatened the capital of a disaffected province by 
a sudden surprise. It was physically possible for 
Schamyl to have reached Tiflis from his mountain 
stronghold in forty-eight hours ; to have made a 
sudden irruption into that town ; to have burned 
a considerable part of its buildings ; and to have 
escaped back to the mountains with a vast booty 
all this was attainable if the city had been 
left ill guarded ; and the consciousness of this 
hypothetical catastrophe unquestionably exercised 
a moral influence over the Russians. 

When the contest with Russia assumed larger 
proportions than a mere dispute with Turkey con- 
cerning a few old rickety buildings at Jerusalem, 
the Caucasian region became an object of interest 
on other than Turkish considerations. The sultan 
was chiefly interested in so far as the mountaineers 
might act as a barrier between him and the 
much-dreaded czar ; but the Allies of the Turks, 
especially England, had additional motives to 
actuate them. The traditionaiy aggressive policy 
of Russia (traced in Chapter I.) affects England 
indirectly in a way which it may be appropriate 
to notice here, since it involves the question of 
Caucasian independence. 

Assuming, as an undisputed proposition, that 
Russia has long cast a wistful glance at the 
British possessions in India, there yet exists much 
diversity of opinion concerning her power to 
work mischief in that quarter. Mr Duncan, who 
spent many months with the Turkish army in 
Asia in 1854, in near proximity to the Russian 
forces in Georgia, insists strongly on the existence 
of this power of doing injury. He points out 
that Russia has maintained her power in the 
Trans-Caucasian provinces at an unparalleled 
sacrifice of blood and treasure, with the view of 
advancing from thence towards the Indus. The 
successive wars which she has carried on with her 
weakened and distracted neighbours, Turkey and 
Persia, have enabled her not only to secure a good 
strategic position in Georgia, but also to instil into 
the Oriental mind an admiration or an appre- 
hension of her vast power : especially is this the 
case in Persia. ' Although I reject the idea of an 



12fi 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



armed invasion of our Eastern Empire by some 
future czar, at the same time it is undeniable that 
a moral triumph, prejudicial alike to the interest 
of Great Britain and her ally the Sublime Porte, 
has Ill-oil achieved by Russia in the East. The 
British Empire in England is governed no less by 
a mural force than by a physical rule ; and should 
the first be weakened by Russian intrigues, and 
by doubts in the invincibility of our armies, the 
consequences at some future period may prove 
calamitous. It is certain that every fresh step 
taken by Russia in Asia, inflicts a moral injury on 
the interests of Great Britain.' * 

On the other hand, such considerations as the 
following have been brought forward, in support 
of the opinion that a Russian attack on British 
India is not much to be apprehended. It is urged 
that the North-Avestern Province is the only fron- 
tier on which India could be attacked; that this 
frontier is strongly guarded ; that the countries 
next beyond Cabul and Beloochistan have irre- 
gular governments, ill-organised resources, no 
public economy, and little national strength beyond 
that comprised in a legion of mounted freebooters ; 
that the next country to the west, Persia, though 
wretchedly weak, never sides with Russia unless 
England appear too heedless to defend her. In 
this view, all that Avould have to be effected is 
to maintain a moral influence over the court of 
Persia a moral influence founded on physical 
greatness. An English army could as effectually 
reach the heart of Persia by way of the Persian 
Gulf, as a Russian army by the route through 
Georgia ; and the advocates of the more hopeful 
theory urge, that if the court of Teheran be duly 
and frequently impressed with this fact, nothing 
more would be wanted to insure the closing of 
the route from Russia to India md Persia. Con- 
tradictory as the two opinions may seem, they yet 
converge to this one point that the maintenance 
of a moral influence by England in Persia is alone 
sufficient to insure the desired result. The chief 
divergence is in respect to the question, whether 
England has in recent years bestowed sufficient 
thought on her prestige among the Persians. 

The considerations are in some respects different, 
concerning a route from Russia to India through 
Tatary. That strange region is inhabited by 
various tribes some leaning towards Russia, some 
towards China, some in doubtful subjection to Tur- 
key or to Persia, and the rest independent. The 
Kirghis Tatars north-east of the Caspian are about 
2,000,000 in number; their occupation consists 
chiefly in tending their flocks, and hunting ante- 
lopes, boars, and wild horses ; while their pleasure 
consists in plundering caravans, or attacking 
neighbouring tribes. This is one part of Tatary. 
Another is the independent province of Khiva, 
situated eastward of the Caspian ; the city of the 
same name stands near the banks of the river 
( >xus, which flows from the hills near Cabul and 

* A Campaign u-ith the Turks in Asia. 



"Cashmere, and passes on its way near Bokhara. 
On this account, Khiva and the Oxus are regarded 
as important in connection with a Russo-Indian 
line of passage. But the difficulties of the route 
are frightful to a large army. There is a formid- 
able region of parched desert between the Caspian 
and Khiva, which must be traversed before that 
city can be reached from Russia. It is certain 
that the Czar Nicholas had long meditated the 
conquest of Khiva, and had disbursed large sums 
of money in bribing neighbouring chieftains ; but 
he did not live to see Khiva under his power, 
although he succeeded in sowing discord between 
the khan and the other Tatar leaders. The 
Tatars themselves, inured to desert-life, might 
work mischief as marauders on the Cabul frontier; 
but whenever a Russian army, or even a small 
body of European troops, has attempted to reach 
Khiva from Orenburg or from the Caspian, its 
sufferings have been terrific, from intense cold 
in winter and insupportable heat in summer. 
Russia possesses small steam-boats both on the 
Caspian and on the Sea of Aral, the one westward, 
and the other northward of Khiva : these have 
been constructed in the hope that they would 
furnish means of transport for Russian troops, 
from various points on the Russian frontier-coast, 
to the mouth of the Oxus, at which point a voyage 
up to Khiva would commence. Such is believed 
to have been the purpose held in view, after the 
abandonment of a land-route as too tragical in its 
consequences. The fixity of purpose displayed by 
the Russian government is unquestionably very 
remarkable, for immense trouble was taken to 
convey these small steamers to the Sea of Aral; 
they were built at St Petersburg, navigated up 
certain rivers and canals to the Volga ; down the 
Volga to Astrakhan; across the Caspian to its 
eastern shore; and then conveyed to the Sea of 
Aral by some means which have not been clearly 
explained ; for although a river or rivers once 
existed between the two seas, little else than 
samly dried-up beds now remain. 

If Russian pertinacity and Russian bribes were, 
however, to succeed in obtaining control over 
Khiva, how much would even then remain to be 
done ! The distance from Khiva to the Indus by 
way of Balkh, the vast snowy range of the Hindoo- 
Koosh, Cabul, and Peshawur, is certainly not less 
than 1100 English miles, and the route is beset 
with difficulties of the most perilous kind, even if 
there were no British army on or near the Indus. 
Count de Biornstjerna, one of the best modern 
writers on India, pronounces a Russian invasion 
of that country impossible ; but an impartial 
estimate of the different views put forth by various 
writers seems to lead to this average or mean 
that Russian policy is certainly a standing menace 
to British India; but that it is a menace which 
England, by moderate circumspection and activity, 
can render comparatively harmless. 

At an early period of the war, two agents were 
despatched from Constantinople to Circassia, 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854. 



127 



apparently from the British embassy, to make in- 
quiries concerning the state, number, and feelings 
of the mountaineers in respect to the great objects 
of the war. They first visited such of the Russian 
forts as had been abandoned between Anapa and 
Batoum. The agents, Mr Sarrell and another 
Englishman, found, in the first place, that the 
inhabitants of Abasia, between the Caucasus and 
the north-east shore of the Black Sea, were willing 
to join in any operations against the Russians; 
and, in the second place, that they were under the 
authority of a naib, named Emin Bey, who was 
lieutenant, or deputy, of Schamyl. The great chief 
of Daghestan had thus extended his influence 
over Circassian tribes. In the course of about 
eight years, Emin Bey, invested with authority 
by the warrior-prophet, had worked a great change 
in the numerous tribes around him. Some had 
been little better than pagans ; some Moham- 
medans, who had forgotten all but the name of 
Islam ; yet the lieutenant had succeeded in working 
great results among them. His chief weapon of 
argument seems to have been, that the only 
hope of the mountaineers to remain permanently 
independent of Russia would depend on a united 
and holy faith in Islam to conduct their struggle, 
indeed, on religious as well as political grounds. 
This was adding one more to the already large 
number of instances, during the war, of hot 
fanaticism being employed in aggravation of 
national hostilities. However friendly the moun- 
taineers may have been to any hostile attack 
against Russia, it does not appear that the agents 
succeeded in establishing any definite arrangement 
or agreement with them. 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY 
IN 1854. 

Such, then, was Schamyl ; such the mountaineers 
of the Caucasus ; such the relations between them 
and Russia at the period when the war commenced. 
A collision between the Turks and Russians in Asia 
was certain, whether the Caucasians sided with 
the former or remained neutral ; for the Asiatic 
boundary between the two empires is not less 
than 400 miles in extent, in the irregular line from 
Batoum to Mount Ararat. This celebrated moun- 
tain forms the meeting-point of three empires 
the Russian, Turkish, and Persian ; and from 
thence to the Black Sea at Batoum, the Russianised 
countries of Georgia, Imeritia, and Mingrelia, 
confront the rugged regions of Asiatic Turkey. 

It may be well here to note that Asia Minor 
the ancient name for the remarkable peninsula 
which is bounded on the north, west, and south, 
by the Euxine, the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmora, 
the Dardanelles, the JSgean, and the Mediterranean 
is not a name adopted by the Turks. The 
peninsula is divided by them into pachalics or 
eyalets, such as Anadoli or Anatolia, Karamania, 
Adana, Era-rum or Erzeroum, Trebizond, Kars, &c. 



Armenia, like Poland, is now little more than 
a geographical name : as the latter unfortunate 
country has been partitioned between Russia, 
Prussia, and Austria, so has the former been 
appropriated by Russia, Persia, and Turkey. The 
name, however, is not unimportant in connection 
with any contest between Russia and Turkey ; for 
Erzeroum, Kars, Erivan, and Bayazid, are all in 
Armenia, and the groundwork of the population 
is Christian Armenian, having more ties of sym- 
pathy in faith with the Muscovite than with the 
Osmanli, although in few respects better treated 
by the former than by the latter. 

Irrespective of the forces in other provinces of 
the two empires, it becomes necessary to shew the 
relative strength of the opposing armies at and 
near the Asiatic frontier, at the breaking out of 
hostilities between Turkey and Russia. The 
following is on the authority of General Klapka, 
who went out to the East, apparently as an 
observer, on the commencement of hostilities, and 
who was in correspondence with Hungarian officers 
engaged in the war. * 

The Turks, when the sultan declared war in 
October 1853, had, in accordance with the mili- 
tary system established ten years earlier, four 
army-corps or ordus in Asia namely, those of 
Anatolia, Irak, Arabistan, and the Guards. Or, 
rather, such ought to have been the case ; but 
the ordu of Irak was wholly absorbed in garrison 
duty ; the ordu of Arabistan was only of half 
strength ; and the ordu of Guards was mostly 
employed in European Turkey. Hence the effec- 
tive force was far below the regulations of the 
system. It amounted to about 36,000 foot, 4000 
horse, and 100 guns. In the course of the autumn, 
24,000 Bashi-Bazouks and other irregulars joined 
the army ; and, in addition, a fresh levy was 
ordered in Syria and Anatolia. These forces 
Avere distributed in unequal proportions on three 
different points. Two-thirds were encamped at 
Kars, under Abdi Pacha, the Mushir or Marshal of 
Anatolia ; the larger half of the third part was at 
Batoum, under Selim Pacha, formerly commander 
of the Guards at Constantinople ; and the remainder 
in the vicinity of Bayazid, under another Selim 
Pacha. 

The Russian strength at the same time was 
somewhat as follows. The so-called army of the 
Caucasus was formidable in number about 80,000 
men ; but the extent of territory which it was 
called upon to defend was immense. The forces 
were distributed on both sides of the Caucasian 
chain. One duty was to defend the frontier-line 
running along the base of the mountains, from the 
Black Sea to the Caspian ; another, was to occupy 
the ports and fortified posts of the Crimea; a third 
consisted in the maintenance of the forts on the 
north-east coast of the Black Sea, such as Anapa 
and Soudjuk Kale ; a fourth, in the protection 
of the great military road over the Caucasus from 

* Klapka : The War in the East, p. 37. 



128 



HOSTILITIES OX THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



Vlatlikaukas to Tiflis ; a fifth, in watching the 
movements of S.-hainyl up in the mountains ; and a 
sixth, in guarding the frontier-line on the southern 
b;i-e of the Caucasus. These duties absorbed the 
>rn large a number of troops, that the 

mis popMHed but a small force to repel any 
hostile attack on the part of the Turks. This 
force amounted to about 25,000 men, and was 
deposed in five positions namely, one portion, of 
10,000 men, at Gumri, to protect the road to Tim's 
against the Turks ; another, in the Upper Koor 
valley: a third, in the province of Gouriel, on the 
road to Kutals or Kutaiali ; a fourth, on the main 
road from Erivan to Baya/id; while the fifth was 
kept as a disposable reserve near Tiflis. 

The Russian troops sent to the Caucasus com- 
prised draughts from the various kinds of arm in 
the czar's service, and were about equal in courage 
and skill to their compatriots north of the moun- 
tains. But the Turkish regiments were mostly 
below the level of those in European Turkey : the 
further removed they were from Constantinople, 
the more did the Ottoman generals indulge in 
that system of official peculation which prevails so 
largely both in Russia and in Turkey, and which 
subjects the poor soldiers to such sad privations. 

The motley group of officers belonging to the 
sultan's service at that time was distinguished by 
these two characteristics that it comprised natives 
of various countries, nations, and religions ; and 
that the true original Turkish or Osmanli officers 
were for the most part not only venal but un- 
skilful. Many of those Avho gained renown in the 
war were not Turks, although in Turkish service. 
Omar Pacha was the Croatian Michael Lattas ; 
Behram Pacha was General Cannon ; Mouchavir 
Pacha was the English Captain or Admiral Slade. 
It was in Asia, however, that these Orientalised 
Europeans appeared in greatest number : some, 
men of unquestioned ability ; others, merely 
adventurers. The abortive revolutions of 1848-9 
had left large numbers of Poles, Hungarians, and 
Italians, hanging loose on society ; and many of 
these, when Avar broke out in 1853, hastened to 
Constantinople to offer their military aid to the 
sultan. Officers as Avell as men being wanted, 
the Porte accepted the proffered aid without due 
inquiry into the merits of the applicants. As 
a consequence, questionable characters came into 
the receipt of Turkish money and Turkish titles. 
The good and the bad were equally hidden under 
high-sounding Oriental designations. Under the 
cloak of Kurschid Pacha Avas General Guyon, the 
distinguished Hungarian ; Iskender Bey was Count 
Ilinski; Ismail Pacha, General Kmeti, the Hun- 
garian ; Fe/zi Bey, General Colman ; Ferhad 
Pacha, General Stein ; Xevris Bey, Major Bon- 
fanti ; Sadik Bey, a Pole named Chyka ; Shahin 
Pacha, General Brainski ; Arslan Pacha, General 
BysmmoAvski ; Emir Bey, Baron Schwartzenberg ; 
Tophan Bey, Colonel Gotschiminski. To Avhat 
extent these officers had been entitled to appro- 
priate the rank of 'general,' the Turkish seraskier 



or war-minister did not take much pains to 
a.scertain. 

When the sultan declared war against Russia, 
the year 18. r >3 was far advanced, and little oppor- 
tunitv occurred for hostilities in Asia. Klapka 
contends that the Turkish commander should have 
guarded his army against partial losses, by remain- 
ing strictly on the defensive in respect to the 
Russian main army opposite Kars ; and should 
haA~e struck a well-planned and rapid bloAv against 
Erivan, in Russian Armenia, as a means of 
obtaining the aid of the inhabitants of the Lower 
Koor, Avho are always ready to act against the 
Muscovites. Abdi Pacha adopted one of these 
plans, but not the other ; he posted part of his 
army as a corps of observation near Kars, and 
placed the rest in Avinter-quarters at Erzeroum as 
a reserve. He received orders from Constantinople, 
however, to commence an active attack, leaving 
to his own judgment the selection of place and 
circumstance's. 

All around this neighbourhood is a region of 
rugged mountains. The pachalic of Erzeroum is 
the most important in Asia Minor, extending over 
a population of 800,000 souls, distributed in 1500 
villages and a few large tinviis. The chief city 
itself, Erzeroum, is roundly estimated to contain 
40,000 inhabitants, besides the garrison, of A\ Inch 
number 30.000 are Osmaulis ; for here, as in 
Asiatic Turkey, the real Turks are found mostly 
in the toAvns, while the villages are chiefly inha- 
bited by Armenians, or other Christian nations. 
Erzeroum Avas once held by the Genoese, in the 
zenith of their power ; and it then contained 
100,000 inhabitants: even in 1828, it numbered 
80,000, which number has been reduced one-half 
by pestilence and emigration. The toAvu contains 
twenty-eight khans, thirteen public baths, seventy 
mosques and mesjids, and churches for the Arme- 
nian, Greek, and Latin Christians. Considered 
strategically, the toAvn is unfavourably situated; 
for although it is at a considerable elevation 
above the level of the sea, it is commanded by a 
higher hill, called Palan Dukan, Avhich Avould be 
formidable in the hands of an enemy. At the 
commencement of the Avar. Erzeroum Avas wholly 
unfortified, except in the possession of a shattered 
and decayed Genoese Avail, a deep but overgrown 
ditch, and a few crumbling round and square 
toAvers. The western branch of the Euphrates, 
called the Kara-su, rises at a short distance from 
the toAvn. This name, Kara-su, is applied to many 
Turkish rivers ; it is equiA'alent to our Black-Avater, 
of Avhich there are several among the rivers of 
England and Ireland. Kars and Tiflis are north- 
east of Erzeroum ; Erivan and Bayazid are nearly 
east ; and Trebizond north- Avest. * 

"While Abdi Pacha Avas preparing to execute the 
operations intrusted to him, Zarif Mnstapha Pacha, 

* It may be useful to note here the distances, along the usual but 
wretched roads, from Erzeroum to three of the towns named above 
namely, to Trebizond, ISO miles; to Kars, 120 mik>; to TitUs, 
2 JO mi'.ts. This is reckoned at 85 English miles to the 'hour' 
the Oriental road-measuring being rather by time than by space. 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854. 



129 



governor of the province of Erzeroum, collected a 
body of Bashi-Bazouks, crossed from Ardahan into 
the district of Akhaltsik (Akhiska), and impetuously 
attacked a small body of Russians there posted. The 
Russians retreated, shut themselves up in the fortress 
of Akhaltsik, and were there besieged byMustapha, 
aided by an additional body of troops sent to him. 
Meanwhile, the main Turkish army crossed the 
frontier near the river Arpachai, and established 
a camp upon Russian ground, as a base for an 
offensive movement against Gumri. The last- 
named fortress is an important defence for the 
city of Tiflis ; the capital of Georgia, and was well 



looked after by the Russians during the war. It 
was a hostile attack in this direction which Klapka 
conceives to have been ill judged on the part of the 
Turkish commander. At first, the plan of Abdi 
Pacha seemed likely to be attended with some 
success ; but he was without a siege-train ; the 
winter set in with great severity, and his Bashi- 
Bazouks had devastated the country all around, 
rendering the labours of the Turkish commissariat 
exceedingly difficult. He was obliged to retreat 
from Gumri to Kars; the Russians followed him, 
overtook his army about midway between the two 
towns at a place calledGedilder, and utterly routed 




ERZEROTJM. 



them. The Russians, deeming a further advance 
imprudent, retreated to Gumri, where they fortified 
and provisioned themselves for the winter, while 
the Turks similarly retreated to winter at Kars. 
This was not the only discomfiture experienced 
by the Turks. While Abdi Pacha was thus sus- 
taining a defeat at Gedikler, Zarif Mustapha Pacha 
was equally unfortunate at Akhaltsik ; the Russian 
garrison of this place, receiving an augmentation 
of force under General Andronikoff, was enabled 
to attack and defeat the Turks who were besieging 
the fortress, and to drive them over the frontier 
back to Ardahan. These twofold defeats, at 
Gedikler and Akhaltsik, depressed the Turkish 
troops, annoyed the government, and led to the 
deposition of Abdi Pacha. The Turks in Asia 
Minor had no Omar Pacha among them; they 
were not well commanded. 

Two circumstances combined to render these 
victories less advantageous to the Russians than 
might have been expected. A heavy fall of snow, 



presaging the immediate approach of stern Avinter, 
put an end to any further operations near Kars; 
while Schamyl, at a time when the Russians were 
engaged in another direction, suddenly descended 
from his mountains into the plains of Georgia at 
the head of 16,000 horse, fired 200 small villages, 
and carried away, as hostages, sevei'al Russian 
ladies who were residing in their country-houses 
near Tiflis. The Russians, to expel these intruders, 
found themselves called upon to confine their 
attention during the winter mainly to the vicinity 
of Tiflis and Gumri. 

At the commencement of the year 1854, the 
Turkish army in Asia was in a thoroughly disor- 
ganised state, owing partly to defeat, but still more 
to mismanagement. While winter- snows yet 
enveloped the country, General Guyon (Kurschid 
Pacha) arrived from Damascus with an ill-defined 
commission from the Porte to reorganise the 
army. He was a favourite with the troops, but 
was viewed with jealousy by the Osmanli pachas ; 



130 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



and at no time during the war was ho enabled 
fully to render the service -which his abilities 
and his inclination prompted being, as he was, 
thwarted by others, who envied where they could 
not equal. He proceeded, however, with great 
energy in his labour of re-forming the scattered 
materials of the army. Hairedden Pacha, minister 
of police at Constantinople, arrived about the same 
time at Erzeroum from the capital, as commis- 
sioner to inquire into the conduct of the Turkish 
generals. It was soon found that the poor troops 
had suffered dreadfully ; they were almost without 
food or clothing during a period of typhus and 
fever; the pachas had appropriated to their own 
use the money in the military- chest, thereby 
leaving the troops without supplies. The men 
had 011 some occasions passed four or five days 
without regular rations. Even if the pachas had 
been honest, the troops would still have suffered ; 
for the road from Ears to Erzeroum was blocked 
up with snow, insomuch that fifteen days, instead 
of five, were required to bring even the smallest 
amount of stores from the latter town to the 
former. The shoes of the poor soldiers were worn 
to tatters, at a season of intensely biting frost. At 
the best of tunes, the shoes are the worst part of 
the Turkish soldier's equipment. An eye-witness 
has said, that 'so long as the Turkish army is shod 
as it is, it never can march well. Behind stone- 
walls, iii the breach, and in garrison, they are the 
bravest of the brave; but I verily believe they 
could not, if the safety of the empire depended on 
it, make a forced march, or continue one of fifteen 
miles a day for a week, either for the purposes of 
retreat or attack. While they were an army of 
cavalry, this practice did not matter much, parti- 
cularly as the wide Turkish stirrup protected the 
foot; but infantry must knock up on hard roads 
and in bad weather with such shoeing. It would 
be curious to inquire how much the decay of the 
Osmanli may depend on the soles of their shoes 
since they ceased to be an equestrian army, and 
assumed European tactics and formation, without 
abandoning the most objectionable portion of their 
Mohammedan attire.' The disadvantages must, of 
course, have been all the greater when the shoes, 
such as they were, had become merely rags. 

Guyon and Hairedden speedily effected improve- 
ments in the condition of the troops the former 
by his skill as a general, the latter by virtue of 
the high powers intrusted to him. The offending 
pachas were either dismissed or sent to Constan- 
tinople for trial ; clothes were provided ; the 
troops received a month's pay on account; the 
contractors for provisions were detected and 
punished for fraud; and the army began to assume 
a regular shape. Hairedden executed justice on 
an offending baker in a style truly Oriental. The 
bread supplied to the troops had been black and 
gritty, although the contractor had received the 
government price for a better quality; whereupon 
Hairedden caused five large loaves to be brought 
to him, and, taking out all the filthy, black, coarse 



crumb, forced the contractor to swallow the whole 
quantity, until he was 'swollen to nearly double 
his usual breadth.' 

A change of ministry in Turkey affects govern- 
ment appointments as in England, but much more 
grossly. Mehemet Ali Pacha, when minister of 
war towards the close of 1853, appointed as com- 
mander of the Asiatic army Ismail Pacha, who 
had just distinguished himself at Kalafat ; but 
Riza Pacha, chosen successor to Mehemet, revoked 
the appointment of Ismail, and gave the command 
of the army of Asia to Zarif Mustapha Pacha, at 
that time governor of Erzeroum. Mr Duncan, 
who was with the Turkish army throughout the 
campaign of 1854, considers this to have been a 
selection very disastrous to the interests of the 
sultan Zarif Mustapha being in no sense equal 
to the duties imposed upon him. Ha'iredden's 
commission terminated Avhen Zarif's appointment 
became known ; and it remained to be seen how 
far Zarif, with an acknowledged position, and 
Guyon in cue more doubtful, could succeed in 
managing a campaign against the Russians. Guyon 
had not merely the enmity of Osmanli pachas to 
contend against ; there were Polish officers also, 
in the sultan's service, who held the Hungarian 
in no good- will. 

Among the many remarkable examples, fur- 
nished by the Russian war, of the untiring energy 
and unsparing liberality of the English newspaper 
press, were those connected with the military 
operations of the Turks and Russians in Asia in 
1854. Sharing in all the vicissitudes and hardships 
of the Turkish camp were two Englishmen, who 
encountered snow and ice, dust and heat, rain and 
mud, privation and disease, in order that they might 
send to London regular accounts of the progress 
of the army. One of these was Colonel Thome, 
special correspondent of the Times, whose health 
gave way under the hardships of a winter-journey 
from Trebizond to Erzeroum ; the other was 
Mr Duncan, to whose pen the English public is 
indebted for a mass of curious information con- 
cerning Asia Minor, its people, and its warfare.* 
This part of Asia is in a frightful state in respect 
to roads; the travelling arrangements are of the 
most primitive kind ; and Colonel Thorne and 
Mr Duncan were compelled to mark out for their 
own use routes of communication, through which 
their letters might be despatched. Little did the 
London readers of the letters from ' our own 
correspondent' know or think how much ingenious 
planning and costly working were required to 
secure the transmission of those letters. The two 
Englishmen, after many abortive plans of which 
one, very expensive and not very successful, was 
that of employing mounted Tatars or couriers 
decided on engaging three swift sais or messengers, 
to walk or run to and from Erzeroum and Kars. 
These messengers were gray -headed old men, 
whose powers of endurance as pedestrians were 

A Campaign Kith the Turks in Asia. 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854. 



131 



remarkable, and whose honesty and zeal were 
above suspicion. Two of these men were con- 
stantly on the road, one coming from, and the 
other going to, Erzeroum Kars being the head- 
quarters. Every Tuesday morning one of the 
messengers started from Kars with the letters, 
consigned to the care of an Armenian merchant 
at Erzeroum, who sent back the messenger with 
any letters or newspapers which happened to 
have arrived from England. The letters from Kars 
were forwarded, under cover, from Erzeroum to 
Trebizond by a regular, or rather a very irregular 



post; from Trebizond to Constantinople they were 
conveyed by one of the Black Sea steamers ; and 
from Constantinople to England by the ordinary 
mail. A whole month was consumed in the 
conveyance of the letters from Kars to London; 
they were consigned to six different authorities in 
succession; and the postage in the end 'reached 
a very pretty figure,' as Mr Duncan states. The 
'mail' between Erzeroum and Trebizond was a 
mounted Tatar ; and when this mail brought 
letters from England, he also brought from Trebi- 
zond a stock of coffee, candles, and other luxuries, 




TREBIZOND. 



for the two Englishmen which luxuries were 
duly handed over to the sais for conveyance from 
Erzeroum to Kars. It was quite an event at Kars 
when these men arrived. Only two accidents 
occurred to them an attack of snow-blindness 
on a dreadful winter-day; and a robbery by 
brigands, to whom the contents of the wallet 
from Kars could not have been very satisfactory. 
The third sais was retained in pay, in case of 
exigencies. 

The relative distances between Trebizond, Erze- 
roum, Kars, and Tiflis, have already been given ; 
but it is desirable to notice briefly here the route 
in question, because it is that by which all European 
supplies reached the Turkish army at Kars. 

Trebizond, the ancient Trapesus, is a seaport on 
the south-east shore of the Black Sea. The ancient 
Trapesus was a colony from Sinope, which was 
itself a colony of Milesians. The town, in one or 
other of its several periods, was owned by Greeks, 
then by Pontians, next by Romans, afterwards by 
Byzantines, then by the monarchs of a Trebizond 



kingdom, and, lastly, by the Turks. The population 
may now amount to about 30,000, mostly Osmanlis, 
but including a few thousand Greeks and Arme- 
nians the Mohammedans residing within the walls, 
and the Christians outside. After Odessa, Trebi- 
zond is the first commercial port in the Black Sea ; 
it is the place at which European manufactures 
are landed, for inland conveyance through Erzeroum 
and Bayazid to the heart of Persia. Steamers are 
now engaged in this trade, bringing cargoes from 
Constantinople in three or four days. Mr Duncan 
sets down the imports in 1852 at the large sum of 
2,100,000 ; the exports being about one-third of 
that amount : three-fourths of the imports were 
manufactured goods from England. The com- 
mercial importance of unrestricted trade to the 
south-east coast of the Black Sea becomes hence 
fully evident to English merchants. 

Such is Trebizond. But the route thence to the 
scene of warfare and of commerce in the interior 
is surrounded with terrible difficulties. Khans or 
inns, with little to eat and no beds for the weary 



132 



HOSTILITIES OX THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



traveller ; pathways instead of roads, on which 
neither caro nor money seems to have been laid 
out; mountain-passes, bounded on the one hand by 
l.ifty perpendicular rocks, and on the other by 
frightful abysses ; slippery paths, down which the 
poor horses and mules are frequently hurled and 
dashed i<> pieces in the ravines far below ; inter- 
mediate plains, which are sultry and feverish in 
summer, and converted into wild pathless solitudes 
when clothed with snow in the winter ; ascents 
and descents, so steep that no wheel-vehicles of 
any kind can traverse them, while a whole day 
is required for ten oxen to drag a cannon four 
miles along them these are the characteristics of 
the 180 miles which separate Trebizond from 
Er/.eroum. The Turkish commissioner, Hai'rcdden 
Pacha, followed this route in mid-winter ; and, 
though provided with a formidable convoy, several 
of his baggage-horses perished, and two of his 
attendants were frozen to death. A caravan, laden 
with Persian goods for Trebizond, was about the 
same time overtaken by a snow-storm, which 
destroyed a score of horses and several men. At 
that very period, a caravan was passing from 
Trebizond to Erzeroum, comprising 200 horses 
laden with bales of Manchester cotton goods, two 
large bales to each horse ; the cottons, in the 
white state, were intended, when safely deposited 
at Teheran in Persia, to be printed or dyed in 
various colours, for the surrounding markets in 
this way does commerce mark out channels for 
itself, in spite of war and all other embarrassments. 
The road from Erzeroum to Kars is less difficult ; 
but it presents scarcely a single khan or house of 
reception for travellers ; insomuch that, unless a 
wayfarer carry his provisions with him, his wants 
are likely to be scantily supplied; the hospitality of 
the Turks in the villages would, indeed, be almost 
the only barrier between him and starvation. 

Along this strange road, then, and through this 
rugged region, had to be conveyed most of the 
European supplies to the Turkish army, wherewith 
to commence the campaign of 1854 ; the other 
portion being landed at Batoum, nearer the Cau- 
casian frontier. The Turkish government, roused 
to activity by the disasters of 1853 in Asia, sought 
to place its army on a better footing. The exer- 
tions of Guyon and Hairedden to this end have 
already been adverted to. Various regiments, 
distributed over Kurdistan and Arabistan, were 
ordered to advance to Kars ; while the redif or 
reserve troops, collected from their village-homes in 
the provinces of Tokat and Sivas, bent their steps in 
the same direction. Bands of Syrian and Arabian 
irregulars, also, were called up to swell the num- 
ber of available soldiers on the bleak plateaux of 
Armenia. Munitions of war continually poured in 
from Constantinople rid Trebizond. 

The Russian forces in Georgia and on the shores 
of the Caspian, in the early spring of 1854, were 
ascertained with much exactness by Mr Duncan. 
The forts on the Black Sea Soucoum Kale, Redout 
Kale, Soudjuk Kale, &c. were, as narrated in the 



last Chapter, destroyed by the Russians during the 
course of the spring and summer, in apprehension 
of threatened attacks from the English and French ; 
but further east, whither those opponents had not 
penetrated, the forts were carefully maintained. 
Several such forts, of which the chief was at 
Derbend, dotted the western side of the Caspian ; 
they were capable of offering a successful resistance 
to badly-armed mountaineers, but would speedily 
have fallen before a regular army. The regiments 
were frequently changed, but the strength of the 
garrisons was kept up. At the period now under 
notice, a regiment of chasseurs was at Grozno, a 
temporary fort situated in a plain washed by the 
river Sountcha ; a second regiment of chasseurs at 
Nizapni, a stone-fort on a mountain near the river 
Andreievska, two days' march from Grozuo ; a 
regiment of the line at Temerhaulourc, a nuul- 
fort in a plain two days' march from Nizapni ; 
another line-regiment at Kazikoumik, near Der- 
bend, five days' march from Temerhauloure ; a 
regiment at Kouba, a temporary fort, three days' 
march from Kazikoumik ; a regiment of chasseurs 
at Harahatche, an unfortified spot, about eight 
days' march from Kouba and two from Tiflis ; a 
regiment of Georgian grenadiers at Gori, a dis- 
mantled stone-fort, two days distant from Tiflis ; 
the regiment of Erivan at Manglis, a day and a 
half from Tiflis ; a regiment of dragoons in the 
district between the river Terek and the fort at 
Temerhauloure ; while a few regiments of Don 
Cossacks were employed in watching the Persian 
and Turkish frontiers. In addition to these forces, 
there were sixteen battalions of veterans spread 
over the country, either in small forts or in towns. 
Some of the chieftains of the districts over which 
Russia had a kind of protective control furnished 
also bodies of armed men, whom the Russian 
government took into its pay namely, 1000 horse 
by Prince Andronikoff ; 1000 by Prince Orbelianoif ; 
2000 by Ahmed Mehinlinski ; 1000 by Koumiuski 
Bey ; and 3000 by the Alahdan or Aladin of the 
Ka/ikoumiks. 

In the month of April, besides the troops 
stationed in the above-named forts, Mr Duncan 
estimated that the Russians had 30,000 men ready- 
to meet the Turks in the field. These forces were 
thus disposed 15,000 at Gumri, under Prince 
Bebutoff; 8000 at Orzugheti (Urzughetti), under 
Prince Andronikoff; 3000 at Erivan, under General 
Wrangel ; and 4000 at Akhaltsik. To oppose these, 
there were four bodies of Turkish troops, 37.000 
in all namely, 20,000 at Kars, under Zarif Mus- 
tapha Pacha ; 13,000 at Batoum, under Selim 
Pacha ; 2000 at Bayazid, under another Selim 
Pacha ; and 2000 at Ardahan, under Osman Pacha. 
The reserve-depot for the Russians was at Tiflis ; 
and that for the Turks at Erzeroum. An intelli- 
gible idea of the hostile array may be formed by 
tracing the frontier, from its commencement at 
the eastern end of the Black Sea, in an irregular 
line south-eastward to Mount Ararat ; four Russian 
armies or bodies of troops were on one side of this 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854. 



133 



line ; four Turkish on the other : each of the 
one group confronted one of the other group ; and 
each group was backed by its reserve-depot. 

"When the news reached Kars that England and 
France had declared war against Russia, it was 
accompanied by a report that an English army 
was on its way to Kars via, Trebizond and Erze- 
roum. The report gave extravagant delight, to 
be succeeded by gloom when the incorrectness of 
the rumour became evident. Mr Duncan, in this 
as in many other parts of his narrative, descants 
on the value of such a demonstration in Asia by 
the Allies. ' England could never have undertaken 
a campaign in which her interests were more at 
stake than in Georgia. By the expulsion of Russia 
from that province, and the destruction of her 
strongholds on the Caspian which, in late years, 
has been a mere Russian lake the influence of 
Russia in the East, and her covetous longings 
towards India, would alike have been dispelled. 
The fascination with which Russia, by her money 
or her intrigues, more than by force of arms, has 
enchained Persia and the vast regions bordering 
on the Caspian, would have snapped asunder, and 
the prestige of England have risen, if possible, still 
higher. At the same time, the difficulties to be 
overcome by force of arms were trifling, when 
compared with the largeness of the stake at issue.'* 
Mr Duncan, however, was forced to confess, that 
the topographical difficulties connected with the 
advance of an army from Trebizond to Tiflis vici 
Erzeroum and Kars are tremendous. On another 
occasion, when the Turks had suffered a reverse, 
the same writer said : ' By this defeat, Turkey has 
lost much, but England has lost still more. And 
on whom lies the blame ? A great deal certainly 
on the Turkish soldiers ; but, I declare solemnly, 
still more on England. The British authorities in 
London and Constantinople were well aware of 
the doubtful condition of this army, and had only 
lately been warned by the defeat of the Batoum 
corps. The English consular body in this part of 
Asia had never ceased impressing upon their 
responsible head the necessity of the presence here 
of an English or French division, however small its 
numerical amount 3000 bayonets would have 
sufficed for it was only needed to encourage the 
Turks by a brilliant example.' Any triumph of the 
Russians circulates with boundless exaggeration 
through timid Persia, and over the Caspian steppes, 
into the barbarous regions of Khiva and Bokhara. 
The nations and tribes of the East become visibly 
impressed with military success or greatness ; and 
any renown of the Russians in Asia tends to lessen 
the moral hold of England over her Indian posses- 
sions. The expediency of affording aid to the Turks 
in Asia was frequently urged in parliament about 
that period. The Earl of Ellenborough on one 
occasion said : ' Any blow struck against Turkey 
in Asia paralyses the Turkish Empire. More than 
that the whole commerce between Turkey and 

* Duncan : i. 270. 



Persia is carried on by Trebizond and Erzeroum, 
and the occupation of those places by Russia puts 
an end to that trade, insulates Persia, and most 
materially affects her policy. But, notwithstanding 
these circumstances, we did not carry on war in 
Asia as we did in Europe, with army against 
army. We had in Asia nations at our disposal. 
We had nations conquered, but yet disposed to 
throw off the yoke. We had still more a gallant 
nation which has been for years in arms, success- 
fully defending its independence. We should make 
war with their army as well as by the troops we 
could detach for any operation of this kind ; but 
this mode of action has been altogether neglected.'* 
The plans of the AUies, whether judiciously or 
otherwise, did not comprise any expedition of 
English or French troops into Asia ; and the 
Turks had to prepare single-handed for the forth- 
coming campaign. The year had opened somewhat 
auspiciously for them. About the middle of 
January, 3000 Russians issued from Orzugheti, 
and marched on to Chef ketil or St NikolaTa : the 
former is a small town in Georgia, north-west of 
Tiflis and Gumri, while Chefketil is situated on 
the sea-margin boundary of the two empires. 
Chefketil had belonged to Russia, but had been 
captured by the Turks in the autumn of 1853 ; 
and it was in the hope of effecting a recapture 
that the attack was now made. The Russians 
concealed themselves in a jungle near the fort, 
and prepared for a night-surprise. The Turkish 
pickets, however, gave a timely alarm ; the Otto- 
man garrison issued forth, and attacked the 
Russians so fiercely as to drive them back in 
the utmost disorder. The Russian loss was severe, 
while the Turks suffered comparatively little. 
Selim Pacha was one of the few Turkish officers 
who distinguished himself in Asia; it was he who, 
starting from Batoum soon after the declaration of 
war by Turkey, had captured Chefketil, in an 
action which cost the Russians 1000 men and a 
large store of ammunition ; and it was he who 
now defeated Andronikoff in the attempt to 
recapture the place. The main army from Kars, as 
lately narrated, had ended the year disastrously; 
the Bayazid army, under another Selim Pacha, 
had effected nothing ; while AH Pacha had been 
unfortunate in the neighbourhood of Ardahan and 
Akhaltsik. The success at the opening of 1854 
was confined therefore to Selim Pacha's proceed- 
ings at Batoum and Chefketil. The Turks were 
enabled about that time to land troops at Batoum 
as reinforcements to the army, and also a supply 
of arms and ammunition for Schamyl, who had 
been prevented only by his limited stores from 
proffering active aid to the sultan. Schamyl's 
lieutenant in Abasia a narrow strip of country 
between the mountains and the Black Sea had 
been instrumental in obtaining these supplies from 
the Turks. 

As the spring of 1854 advanced, the Turks 

* Speech in the House of Lords, May 14, 1851. 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



strengthened themselves at Kars and the Russians 
at Gumri, each narrowly watching the other. 
Both received reinforcements, especially the Turks; 
but the sultan's forces unfortunately suffered in 
consequence of the wrangles between the officers ; 
the Poles were in many cases jealous of the 
Jlunaarians, and the Osmanlis jealous of both. 
Had~not the Russians been doubtful concerning 
the intentions of the vacillating court of Persia, an 
attack on the Turkish positions would in all pro- 
bability have been made in spring ; but^ distrusting 
their own safety, they postponed their advance. 



By about April, there were nearly twenty pachas 
with the army at Kars, weakening it by conflicting 
counsels and by peculation which no amount of 
supervision could wholly prevent; the troops, 
although increased in number and improved in 
discipline and supplies, suffered greatly from 
typhus, brought on mainly by previous neglect. 

One of the earliest hostile encounters in the year 
was a petty affair. Towards the end of April, 
about 3000 Cossacks and Russian infantry, with a 
battery of guns, left Gumri, crossed the river 
Arpachai, and attacked an outpost of Bashi- 




KARS. 



Bazouks at the village of Engen ; they killed a 
few, took a few more prisoners, and then returned 
to Gumri. During April and May, the Turks at 
Kars were regularly drilled, to fit them for an 
evidently approaching conflict with the Russians. 
In this necessary work, however, the best arrange- 
ments were certainly not made. None of the 
European officers were regimentally employed; 
they were appointed to the staff headed by Guyou, 
and were employed as inspectors of artillery 
practice, instructors in cavalry movements, and 
overseers of the commissariat ; these services were 
valuable, in so far as the jealousy of the Turkish 
pachas permitted their development ; but even 
then the troops lost the benefit of the aid that 
might have been derived from the Hungarian 
generals in ah 1 that related to regimental drilling. 
The army at Kars having at that time reached 
25,000, Guyon advised a march across the river 
Arpachai, to be followed by the seizure of Erivan ; 
and the troops were themselves eager to advance 
to action ; but Guyon was outvoted by the Osmanli 



pachas at a council of war, and nothing was done. 
This council was held on the 18th of May ; and 
the few Englishmen who were then with the 
army were forcibly struck with the contrast 
between the men and their leaders, in all that 
related to courage, activity, and honesty. The 
sultan indeed, throughout the war, was inefficiently 
supported by his generals, except in a few 
instances. 

Kars, thus likely to be the scene of a contest 
between the opposing forces, was at one period the 
capital of a petty Armenian kingdom of the same 
name; butit had fallen greatly in importance, 
and at the breaking out of the war, it was scarcely 
known to Europe. Merchants stopped there, on 
their road to and from Persia ; but it was a poor, 
dull place ; and hence the inhabitants, about 
15,000 in number, became greatly excited when 
their town was occupied by the Turkish army. 
The inhabitants suffered before the troops advanced 
towards Gumri in October 1853 ; they suffered still 
more after the disastrous defeat ; and the ensuing 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854. 



135 



winter and spring brought them little relief, for 
the pachas were wont to seize all the humble 
stores of the shopkeepers and peasants, leaving 
the question of payment in a very unsettled state. 
The town is commanded by an extensive castle, 
built while the Genoese were possessed of this 
district ; the castle, now nearly crumbled into 
ruins, stands perched on a rocky hill, at the foot of 
which flows the little river Kars-chai. This hill 
is, however, overtopped by one still higher, on the 
opposite side of the river, the Kara-dagh or Black 
Mountain ; and when Prince PaskeVitch attacked 
Kars in a former war, he obtained control both 
over the town and the castle by occupying this 
higher hill with a few guns. One of the duties 
which the Turks undertook in the spring of 
1854 was to crown this Kara-dagh with defences, 
which Guyon recommended should consist of 
eight redoubts, carrying 48 guns. The whole of 
the adult males of Kars were forced to assist in 
constructing these earthworks, which by degrees 
assumed formidable proportions. 

Gumri, a similar place to Kars, in so far as 
it was occupied by an army watching an enemy 
not very far distant, had been rendered by the 
Russians much stronger than Kars by the Turks. 
Since the czar had acquired possession of this 
town and its neighbourhood in the previous war, 
he had wonderfully improved it ; the streets and 
houses had been rebuilt in European style, in 
conformity with its change of name from the 
Oriental Gumri to the Russianised Alexandropol. 
Being situated on the banks of the Arpachai, 
which separates the two empires, it had been 
strongly fortified, far beyond anything that the 
Turks possessed in Asia ; it having at least 150 
mounted cannon, many of them casemated. The 
distance between Kars and Gumri is less than 
twelve leagues ; the Russians knew all that was 
done at the first-named place, through the instru- 
mentality of numerous spies ; whereas the indo- 
lent and incapable Turkish commander made no 
efforts to obtain a knowledge of the state and 
strength of Gumri. Most of the emissaries sent 
by or to Schamyl, to concert measures with the 
pacha, were waylaid by the Russians ; and Zarif 
Mustapha remained in ignorance even of the 
proceedings of Selim Pacha at Batoum. 

At length, in the month of June, the antagonist 
armies approached nearer. On the 25th of the 
preceding month, 500 Russians, with four field- 
pieces, had crossed the Arpachai into the Turkish 
territory, pitched their tents and threw up a field- 
work indicating an intention on the part of 
Prince Bebutoff to commence hostilities. On the 
9th of June, four regiments of Russian cavalry, 
one of infantry, and fifteen guns, left Gumri, and 
took up a position atTechnitz, on the Arpachai, six 
hours distant from Kars ; here they encountered 
a body of Bashi-Bazouks under the Hungarian 
Kmeti, when a skirmish ensued, followed by the 
retreat of both parties to their respective camps. 
This was believed to be a feint, intended to draw 



off the attention of the Turks from a Russian 
attack in some other quarter. Kmeti, an old 
campaigner, had succeeded in bringing his Bashi- 
Bazouks into excellent trim ; and their cavalry 
charge on the Russians greatly exhilarated the 
Turks, who seldom effect any successful achieve- 
ments with cavalry. The Russians, about that time, 
exhibited symptoms of movement along their 
whole line from the Caucasus to Bayazid ; concen- 
trating a large body of troops near Gori. This 
town, situated in a plain about 40 miles from 
Tiflis and 150 from Chefketil, at the junction of 
the river Koor with a large stream flowing from 
the Elbruz mountain, afforded a favourable centre 
either for attack or defence, in respect to the 
opponent forces. 

It was, indeed, full time that active service of 
some kind should commence ; for the sword and the 
bullet would have been less disastrous to the Turks 
than other calamities which they were called upon 
to bear. In the seven or eight months from 
November to June, the Ottoman army in and 
around Kars had lost 10,000 men through typhus, 
hunger, cold, nakedness, and every kind of priva- 
tion, most of which might have been avoided 
if the pachas had possessed a moderate amount of 
skill and honesty. The Russians, too, had suffered 
terribly. Two regiments of the sixth corps d'arme'e 
had been nine months marching from Moscow to 
Gumri, over the Caucasus, amid sore privations; 
and even those quartered near Tiflis had been 
swept off in large numbers by disease. At a 
council of war, held at Kars towards the end of 
June, General Guyon, believing that the Turks, 
notwithstanding all their losses, were still well 
able to cope with the Russians, proposed a bold 
and comprehensive scheme, in which all the four 
bodies of troops at Kars, Batoum, Bayazid, and 
Ardahan, might take part ; the main object being 
a simultaneous attack upon Kutai's (Kutaiah), 
Erivan, Gumri, and Tiflis. But the Turkish 
mushir or commander, Zarif Mustapha, was utterly 
unfitted to appreciate or execute such a plan; he 
had never before commanded even so much as a 
regiment in the field ; he had been placed in 
command solely by virtue of favouritism. Where 
an army is so managed that the commander-in- 
chief himself bastinadoes a contractor for sending 
in half-baked bread an event which really 
occurred at Kars it may be imagined that petty 
details, rather than comprehensive schemes, would 
mark the course of public affairs. Guyon was 
overruled; nothing was done; and an army, now 
reaching 30,000, began to suffer from heat as much 
as it had before suffered from cold. Mr Duncan 
asserts, from the knowledge which he obtained on 
the spot, that had Guyon and Kmeti been in com- 
mand, within two months Tiflis would have been 
captured, and the Russian forces either cut to pieces 
or driven out of Georgia across the Caucasus: so 
much larger at this time was the Turkish army 
near Kars than the Russian force at Gumri; for, 
with the regiments at Bayazid and Ardahan, the 



13G 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



Ottomans now numbered 40,000, with 120 pieces 
of nrtilK-rv; while the Russian force was believed 
t.i l.i- limited to al-out 20,000. 

The month of July opened with active pro- 
((.-i-d MIL'S on the part of the Russians. The garrison 
of (iumri, 15,000 strong, sallied forth under Prince 
Ik-lmtoir on the 1st, crossed the Arpachai, and 
up pi/sitions near the villages of Kurekderc 
runl liiLTi'dere, at about one hour's march only from 
Solmttun and Hudgi-Velikoi, at that time occupied 
l.v the Turkish outposts. There is a small moun- 
tain near the two villages; and this mountain the 
Russians began immediately to fortify. On the 
3d, Zarif Mustapha, vacillating between many 
plans suggested by his pachas, moved his army 
from Kara to Hadgi-Velikoi, and traced out an 
encampment. Here he was soon joined by Kerim 
Pacha, who brought the Turkish left wing from 
Ardahan, while Bebutoff in like manner received 
reinforcements which raised his army to 28,000; 
insomuch that there were now assembled nearly 
70,000 Russian and Turkish troops, in the vicinity 
of the four villages above named. The Turks 
formed two camps, with Bashi-Bazouks in the van 
and on the flanks, and the cavalry and artillery in 
the centre. The advanced camp or division was 
placed under Kerim Pacha, while Zarif Mustapha 
himself took the command of the rear division. 
The Turks had a small mountain in front of them, 
like as the Russians; and these two mountains 
were occupied as observatories by the staffs of the 
respective armies. 

The incompetent Turkish commander at length 
resolved on an attack. On the 12th, he left his 
position, and advanced to within two miles of 
the Russian encampment. The Russians also 
advanced, and formed in order of battle. Kmeti 
began to skirmish with his Bashi-Bazouks, while 
the cavalry manoeuvred to the flanks, and the 
artillery advanced to the front. Just at this 
moment a storm broke forth, with a degree of 
fury hardly known before in that district ; the 
ground was speedily converted into a deep morass ; 
the Russians retreated to their encampment, and 
Zarif Mustapha ordered a similar retreat. This 
unexpected event greatly disappointed the Turkish 
troops; they had braced themselves up to a bold 
and soldierly achievement, and there can hardly 
be a doubt that they would have acquitted them- 
selves well if their efforts had been efficiently 
directed by their commander. Many wet, stormy 
days succeeded, and the Turks became disheartened, 
while Zarif exhibited the utmost bewilderment in 
attempting to decide whether to advance or to do 
nothing. From the moment when the advance of 
the army from Kars was made, the unruly Kurds 
who inhabit the mountain districts began to make 
predatory excursions ; the roads between Trebizond, 
Kiv.eroum, and Kars were rendered unsafe, and the 
unhappy villagers suffered greatly. 

After this unwelcome check, weeks passed 
without any decided encounter, although the 
two armies were within five miles of each other. 



Bebutoff was awaiting further reinforcements ; 
and Zarif displayed utter helplessness in respect 
to military plans. Disorganisation and treachery 
crept into the Turkish camp, while the Russians 
became so emboldened, that they came forth and 
reaped the corn in fields not far from the Turkish 
posts. On the 27th, a Russian force advanced to 
the village of Perghet, near the Turkish left flank, 
and cut and carried oil' a great quantity of wood ; 
the Turkish soldiers indignantly waited for orders 
from Zarif to attack them; but no such order 
came. By this time the five villages which have 
been named Kurekdere, Ingedere, Sobattan, 
Hadgi-Velikoi, and Pcrghct had become mere 
heaps of ruins ; the wooden houses had been 
destroyed for the sake of firewood; and every 
atom of corn and grass in the neighbourhood had 
been consumed by the men and horses of the two 
armies. 

One of the few active operations during the 
month was a dashing achievement by General 
Kmeti and his Bashi-Bazouks. In the dead of 
the night, on the 16th, he divided his loOO horse- 
men into three columns, and galloped round the 
extreme left flank of the Russians. Having got 
to their rear without detection, he advanced 
silently to Baindir, a village near Gumri, defended 
by a small body of Cossacks and Georgian militia. 
At daybreak, one column attacked the village, one 
attacked the redoubts manned by the Russians, 
while the third remained in reserve. The Bashi- 
Bazouks utterly routed the enemy, taken thus 
suddenly by surprise ; but the main Russian 
army now shewed signs of approach ; and Kmeti 
and his active baud succeeded in returning 
by another route to the Turkish camp, bringing 
with them five prisoners and 400 sheep. This 
daring act greatly delighted the Turks. Kmeti 
had offered to take even Gumri itself with his 
Bashi-Bazouks, but his timid commander would 
not allow him to make the attempt. On the 22d, 
another night-attack was planned by the Hunga- 
rian, to which Zarif Mustapha promised the aid 
of the regular troops. Shortly before daybreak, 
Kmeti charged with his Bashi-Bazouks at the 
centre of the Russian camp, and penetrated into 
the very tents of the enemy, capturing the first line 
of outposts. Speedily was he surrounded by the 
whole Russian army, and then it was that he 
looked for support from the regulars. But where 
were these ? Zarif Mustapha, as usual timid, 
irresolute, incompetent did nothing; no regulars 
appeared, although ardent and eager to be 
engaged ; and Kmeti had no resource but to cut his 
way back to the Turkish camp, losing many by the 
way, and burning with indignation at the unworthy 
treatment which he had received from his com- 
mander. The Bashi-Bazouks, under this heroic 
man, had shewn themselves susceptible of orderly 
discipline ; they had, indeed, acted as a light 
cavalry of an efficient kind, far better than Omar 
Pacha had been able to obtain for his Danubian 
campaign; and bitterly they lamented that the 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854. 



137 



mushir of the army of Asia was so utterly unequal 
to the duties of his high command. Little wonder 
that many of these primitive irregulars disbanded, 
and returned to their homes. 

August arrived, and with it a conviction that 
unless the Turkish commander speedily attempted 
something definite, his army would melt away or 
become disorganised. On the 5th, a night-attack 
\vas resolved upon ; Kerim Pacha to command the 
right division, Vely Pacha the left, and the mushir 
himself, Zarif Mustapha, to superintend both or 
to spoil both, as the case might be. Guyon marked 
out the plan of the attack ; but his plan was not 
practically carried out. 

On Sunday the 6th of August, was fought a 
battle which covered Zarif Mustapha with dis- 
grace, and undid all that the Turks had effected in 
Asia, whether much or little, during the year 1854. 

In the dead of the night, the Turks left their 
encampment and began the march. The first 
error made manifest was, that the right division 
reached the enemy long before the left could come 
up to its support, in obedience to a stupid order by 
Zarif that the left should halt two hours, that 
daylight might assist its progress. The consequence 
was, that when the Russians who were to have 
been taken by a night-surprise saw that the 
right division was thus isolated, they at once con- 
centrated all their troops upon it, and commenced 
active proceedings before the left could arrive. 
The Turkish forces comprised 12 battalions of 
Arabistan infantry, 20 of Anatolian, 16 of redif, 
and 2 of rifles making 20,000 infantry ; together 
with 3700 cavalry, 1300 artillery, and 78 guns. 
The Russians counted 20 battalions of infantry, 26 
squadrons of dragoons, 4000 irregular cavalry, and 
800 artillery, with 64 guns. Hach army consisted 
of about 25,000 men ; but the Turks had also 
8000 or 10,000 Bashi-Bazouks, who were, however, 
not engaged in this battle. If Guyon's plan had 
been followed, the two divisions of Turks would 
have attacked the Russians simultaneously, while 
a third Turkish corps would have obtained pos- 
session of the heights which commanded the 
enemy's encampment. But Zarif Mustapha ruined 
the scheme, and quietly smoked his chibouque 
while the right division was about to be attacked 
by nearly the whole Russian force. This division, 
under Kcrim Pacha, numbered about 10,000 men. 
The artillery opened fire on both sides. The 
Russian infantry advanced, but were repelled by 
the Turks. The Russian dragoons then bore down 
at high speed, and with a loud cheer rushed upon 
the Turks, who, seized with a panic, turned and 
fled, leaving their artillery unprotected. This 
artillery then bore a series of terrific attacks from 
the dragoons ; both sides behaved courageously, 
and the fire was murderous. The Russian infantry 
made a second attack in largo force against batta- 
lions of re"dif, who then witnessed fire for the first 
time ; the result was disastrous, for the redif turned 
and fled wildly towards Kara. The more disci- 
plined Turkish troops seem to have been chiefly in 



the left division, unfortunately absent when most 
wanted. Meanwhile, the dragoons, after repeated 
attacks, captured the guns, the Turkish artillerymen 
remaining steadfast until nearly the last man was 
cut off. The dragoons, previously almost maddened 
with drink, then rushed indiscriminately at in- 
fantry, cavalry, and artillery ; and the Turks, 
completely paralysed by the impetuosity of the 
onslaught, gave way in all quarters ; the cavalry 
fled, the infantry were mowed down, the artillery- 
horses were shot, and the guns were captured. All 
the efforts of Kerim Pacha to re-form his division 
were vain. By this time the left division had 
arrived, and opened a vigorous cannonade on the 
Russians. For a time the tide turned. Kmeti 
attacked the Russian infantry vigorously; Tahir 
Pacha poured in a terrible fire from the artillery 
under his command; and Guyon bore down with 
4000 cavalry on the Russian masses which began 
to waver. This was the critical moment fatally 
critical for the Turks. The cavalry, coming 
suddenly upon a Russian infantry regiment at 
a spot where none was expected, were seized with 
so resistless a terror, that they fled panic-stricken, 
leaving Guyon alone with his personal staff. These 
cowardly horsemen communicated a panic to the 
Bashi-Bazouks, who in their turn threw the 
infantry into such inextricable confusion that the 
generals lost command over them. All fled 
together in wild confusion towards Kars, pursued 
by the grapeshot of the Russian artillery and 
the sabres of the dragoons. 

Thus ended the disastrous battle of Kurekdere. 
The Turks lost 3500 in killed and wounded, and 
2000 prisoners ; while the Russians acknowledged 
a loss of more than 3000 in killed and wounded. 
The Russian dragoons and the Turkish artillery 
greatly distinguished themselves. Had the Turkish 
cavalry possessed any soldierly qualities, they 
might have redeemed even the disasters occasioned 
by Zarif Mustapha's folly ; but they and the 
untried redifs ruined all. The Russian officers 
were brave throughout, heading their men in all 
the charges, insomuch that no less than 111 of 
their number were killed or wounded ; whereas 
the Osmanli officers lurked in coward fashion in 
rear of their troops, with a very few exceptions. 
Bitter must have been the anger of Guyon and 
Kmeti to witness such conduct. Kerim Pacha, 
second in command, was one among the small 
number of exceptions ; he was a brave old man, 
and exerted himself indefatigably to keep up the 
courage of his troops. The defeat was most 
complete ; for not only did the Turks lose 5000 to 
6000 men, but 6000 more fled in dismay to their 
homes after the battle, while the remaining 
moiety returned towards Kars in a state of the 
utmost disorganisation. 

Before noticing the close of this discreditable 
campaign in Asia in 1854, it will be necessary to 
trace briefly the proceedings of the subsidiary 
forces, in other parts of Armenia and Georgia. 

Selim Pacha, it will be remembered, commanded 



138 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



the Turks iu the neighbourhood of Batoum. After 
Selim had obtained advantages at Chefketil and 
Orzugheti, in the previous winter, he might have 
effected yet more if he had well concerted his 
plans with Zarif Mustapha ; but the latter proved 
himself incapable of forming any comprehensive 
si-homes. Selim remained during the spring 
master of his position ; but on the 9th of June, 
he deemed himself strong enough to assume the 
ofK'iisivc-. He sent forward a division of 3000 
Bashi-Bazouks, and half a battalion of regulars, to 
attack two Russian redoubts, about six hours 
distant from Orzugheti, on the road to Kutai's. 
It appears to have been a mistaken piece of 
strategy ; the Turks were ignorant of the position 
and numbers of the Russians, and were defeated 
with great loss. This was followed by a still more 
serious defeat on the 16th. It was Prince Kristoff 
who gained the day on the 9th, while Prince 
Andronikoff bore off the honours on the 16th. 
Andronikoff advanced towards Orzugheti on the 
10th, with 8 battalions of infantry and 10 guns ; 
while Colonel Korganoff, with 4 battalions and 8 
guns, advanced in the direction of Akty. They 
constructed a bridge over the little river Soupsu. 
On the 16th, Andronikoff, with the Russian force, 
now aided by cavalry, met Selim Pacha's army 
near Orzugheti, and defeated it. The Turks appear 
to have lost about 2000 men a number swelled 
up in the Gazette du Caucasa to 8000, according to 
a system frequently adopted by the Russian autho- 
rities. Selim was forced to retreat to Churuk-su ; 
and Andronikoff was thus enabled to spare troops 
to swell the main army at Gumri. The Russians 
made another attack on Selim in the night 
between the 18th and 19th, on the banks of the 
Tcholok, and obtained some success, though 
nothing of great importance. Selim Pacha was 
summoned to Constantinople to answer for his 
ill-luck, and was succeeded by Mustapha Pacha, 
who had distinguished himself at Oltenitza, under 
Omar Pacha. It is a point of some difficulty 
to distinguish between the numerous Selims, 
Mustaphas, and Achmets in the Turkish service. 

Another though smaller portion of the Turkish 
forces was at Ardahan. This was under the com- 
mand of Kerim Pacha, and numbered about 5000 
men. During the spring, Kerim's force had 
remained nearly inactive, watching the Russians 
on the other side of the frontier, and being watched 
in turn. Early in June, however, the Russians, 
about 8000 strong, started from Akhaltsik, and 
threatened Ardahan. The result was mere skir- 
mishing, unimportant on either side. At Bayazid, 
however, near the frontier-line at Mount Ararat, 
the Turks met with a disastrous defeat. While 
Zarif Mustapha was wasting his strength and the 
fine summer weather in idleness at Kars, Prince 
Bebutoff was enabled to despatch strong reinforce- 
ments from Gumri to the army at Erivan, to enable 
to attack the Turks at Bayazid. The Turks, 
in number, were commanded by Selim Pacha 
(not the general at Batoum); and, as they were 



weak, Selim was recommended not to make any 
attack on the Russians, but to retreat on Kars or 
Erzeroum if pressed by the enemy. This advice he 
neglected. On the 28th of July, General Wrangel 
advanced from Erivan towards Bayazid with 8000 
Russians, and 13 cannon. Selim at once sallied forth 
to a place called Kara-boulak, to meet this attack ; 
but his force being much smaller, he encountered 
a total defeat. The Turkish irregulars advanced 
against the Russian infantiy, but were repelled, 
and were then pursued by the enemy's dragoons. 
The regulars then advanced, but could not contend 
against the more powerful Russian force: they 
turned and fled wildly towards Van, leaving 1500 
dead, wounded, and prisoners. On the 31st, the 
Russians entered Bayazid, and seized a large 
amount of stores. This victory greatly aided the 
proceedings of the Russians in the battle of 
Kurekdere, fought by the main army a few days 
afterwards. The enormous exaggeration in which 
the Russian officers so frequently indulged during 
the war, was fully displayed in the dispatch 
announcing the victory at Kara-boulak. Wrangel 
asserted that the Turks were 15,000 strong; that 
13,000 of these were engaged; that 5000 were 
cavalry ; and that 3000 were left dead on the 
field : whereas Mr Duncan, pointing out the 
extravagance of that report, states distinctly 
that the total Turkish force was 5000; that the 
cavalry (irregular) were 2500 ; and that the killed, 
wounded, and prisoners, amounted altogether to 
1500. It is painful to have to decide between 
two such utterly irreconcilable accounts; but the 
analogies furnished by the whole course of the 
war leave no room for doubt as to the relative 
trustworthiness of the two accounts. The battle 
of Kurekdere was a case in point; for Prince 
Bebutoff, in his dispatch relating thereto, sets 
down the Turkish force at nearly 50,000, and the 
Russian at only 18,000. 

Schamyl's name has been mentioned but little 
in this section. The mountain-chief was not 
engaged in any regular actions, but yet he conti- 
nually influenced and retarded the movements of 
the Russians; and, had he been supplied betimes 
with arms and ammunition by the Allies, there 
can be no question that he might have imparted 
a different aspect to the whole campaign. The 
cruising of a few English ships off the coast of 
Circassia was noticed in the last Chapter ; it was 
one of many attempts made to open communi- 
cation with Schamyl; but those attempts were not 
sufficiently energetic or skilful to command much 
success. One of the English officers who accom- 
panied Sir Edmund Lyons in his expedition to the 
coast, had interviews with some of the natives, 
and has given an interesting sketch of their per- 
sonal appearance. 'As for the native chieftains,' 
says he, 'they are glorious fellows tall, magni- 
ficently dressed, and fine-featured ; it is impossible 
to view them as savages. Among them, the naib 
(Enim Bey), Schamyl's lieutenant or representative, 
is the most powerful and the most thoughtful. 



CAMPAIGN IN ASIATIC TURKEY IN 1854. 



139 



His will seems law along the whole coast, from 
Soudjuk to the Anakria river. Within those limits 
along the coast all are Mohammedans, and during 
the nine or ten years of his residence among the 
Western Caucasians being a native of Schamyl's, 
or the eastern country, Daghestan he has built 
mosques, created schools, and, in short, excited a 
revival of religion d la Wesley. " Before he came, 
we were beasts," said a chief to me lately; "and 
now, if he were to order us to march into the sea, 
we should go without question." Their hostility to 
Russia is inveterate and intelligible ; but they know 
well how unfit they are to cope with the Russians 
out of their own mountains, and the Russians 
equally well know them. Nevertheless, I hope 
that they will not be altogether useless. The naib 
is dignified and stately; he moves with an escort 
of wild mountaineer horsemen, preceded by a red 
and buff banner ; his white Circassian tunic, yellow 
vest, black cartridge-cases, and tall gray sheep-skin 
cap, admirably set off his dark strongly-marked 
face. In conversation, you at once find him a 
very superior man, clear in his views, thoroughly 
knowing his own position and that of his country- 
men. All the natives of the coast, from Soudjuk to 
Anakria, are bitter against the Russians, with 
the exception of one or two chieftains, who have 
received money and honours from them ; but 
these are isolated cases, and they have had no influ- 
ence on the people.' The Circassians themselves, 
the main body of the people, are described by this 
officer as 'a remarkably good-looking race tall 
and well made, and generally fair, some even of 
the older warriors having quite pink cheeks ; and, 
odd enough, when one considers their roaming life, 
their feet and hands are remarkably small. They 
cut their skin-shoes to fit the foot exactly. In 
dress, they carry a huge affair on the head, of the 
calpac species ; a high cone of yellow cloth rises 
from a forest of fur which encircles the head ; their 
coats are principally made of a coarse woollen 
fabric, and reach far below the knee. The higher 
orders have this of brilliant yellow cloth ; round 
the throat a linen under-garment buttons exactly, 
and over this is frequently worn a smart silk affair, 
shewing between the folds of the coat. In their 
breast they carry about a score of bone or ivory 
cases, filled with loose powder, having the ball at 
the top. Some of the better sort wear smart 
scarlet leggings, and yellow or red slippers ; round 
the waist of all are fastened multitudinous knives 
and pistols upon a leathern belt; and slung over 
the shoulder, in a cloth-case, the rifle. They look 
altogether like a set of aristocratic savages.' The 
officers encountered Circassian maidens about to 
depart for Constantinople to adorn the harems 
of the wealthy Turks an example of Oriental 
morality which has not yet given way to European 
customs. During the summed, Schamyl frequently 
threatened Tiflis, and so distracted the attention of 
the Russians, that if Guy on had commanded at 
Ears instead of Zarif, the Turks would almost for 
certain have fought a winning campaign. 



When the disasters of August arrived, it was 
unquestionably Schamyl who prevented the 
Russians from following up their advantage. He 
threatened Tiflis with 16,000 men; and Prince 
Bebutoffwas forced to send back a large portion 
of his army from Gumri to repel this attack. On 
the 1st of September with part of his force at 
Akhalgori ; part at Gori, on the river Koor ; and 
part at Mycht, near Tiflis Schamyl surprised and 
beat off the Russians, took much booty and many 
prisoners of high rank, and rendered it imperative 
that Bebutoff should suspend all further operations 
in Armenia. Advantages were gained by the 
Lesghian chieftain also at Pekhalon, Tavi, Childi, 
Alazan, Kavril, Zaktala, and other places whose 
names are scarcely to be met with on the 
maps, over the Russian generals Wrangel and 
Tchartchatz. In short, Schamyl, although his name 
appears in a flitting, meteor-like way, assisted the 
Turks more effectually than their English and 
French allies had up to this time done. The 
Emperor Napoleon sent him 12,000 muskets 
in September ; but those muskets would have 
rendered better service if despatched earlier. 

The year 1854 closed in Asia thus-wise. The 
Turks, utterly broken and disorganised at the battle 
of Kurekdere, could do nothing more than remain 
on the defensive at Kars; while the Russians, 
afraid of Schamyl and his mountaineers, durst not 
advance westward of Gumri, lest their rear should 
be attacked. Kars and Gumri remained the head- 
quarters of the two armies at the end of the year, 
as they had been at the beginning ; but the Turks 
had been weakened in the directions of Bayazid 
and Ardahan, while the Russians had become 
masters of the roads between Turkey and Persia. 

The state of the Turkish army had now become 
deplorable. Complete anarchy reigned at head- 
quarters. Zarif Mustapha, unable to appreciate 
the strategic plans of General Guyon, had ruined 
them at Kurekdere, and then turned round and 
accused Guyon of being the cause of all the 
disasters. Knowing the ill-will entertained by 
many of the Poles towards Guyon, he induced 
them to sign a paper demanding the dismissal or 
recall of the Hungarian. Guyon had remained 
a Christian, and, on this account, in accordance 
with a rule in the Ottoman service, he had no 
direct command ; he might advise, but was 
forced to succumb to the Osmanli pachas. Had 
he become a renegade in his faith, like many 
of the Hungarians and Poles, he would probably 
have received high powers. Under the existing 
state of feeling in the army, it would have been 
useless for Guyon to remain, however unjust the 
charges against him, and however incompetent 
those who made them : he was recalled. But 
Zarif Mustapha could not altogether blind the eyes 
of the Porte to his conduct ; although supported 
by the seraskier, Riza Pacha, he was summoned 
to Constantinople to explain his conduct. Here, 
however, favouritism carried the day. Zarif 
succeeded in obtaining an acquittal from all 



140 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



blame in respect to the disaster at Kurckdere, 
ami so bribed his judges as to procure condem- 
nation to fall upon Guyon. The Hungarian was 
dismissed from his post, reduced to half-pay, and 
left to retire into private life. The weak sultan 
was powerless through all these scenes ; kind, but 
indolent, he exerted little influence on those 
around him. Nor could the British ambassador 
at Constantinople stem the course of intrigue 
which led to the discomfiture of an able oflieer. 

Perhaps no Englishman had better opportunities 
than Mr Duncan of forming an estimate of the 
qualities of the Turkish private soldiers. ' By the 
introduction,' he says, ' of a strict discipline ; by 
an equitable system of promotion, and under the 
command of brave and honourable officers, the 
Turkish army could be raised to a point of excel- 
lence second to no European force. The sobriety 
of the men, their simple wants, unfailing patience, 
and power of resisting fatigue, offer the most 
splendid materials for creating an irresistible 
infantry. The men are both intelligent and 
courageous. A commander, in whom they pos- 
sessed confidence, they would follow without 
hesitation or regret. And this confidence is facile 
to obtain. A few kind words, a display of interest 
in his welfare, and honesty of purpose, suffice to 
gain the poor Turk's heart for ever. The Turkish 
artillery is excellent, even in its present state, 
but is susceptible of great improvement. In the 
management of this arm, the Turkish soldiers 
shew great .aptitude ; and the pride of the men in 
their batteries, and the affection they display for 
their respective guns, is admirable.' * The honesty 
of this opinion is tested by the impartial way 
in which Mr Duncan speaks of the cavalry; he 
condemns it in unmitigated terms, as being in its 
present state almost utterly worthless. But the 
greatest drawback is presented by the Osmanli 
officers. ' The causes that have largely contributed 
to weigh down the existing virtuous elements in 
the Ottoman army, are the corruption and inca- 
pacity that prevail among its higher ranks ; and 
the disgraceful ignorance which distinguishes its 
subaltern officers. The Turkish private soldier, if 
well directed, is capable of great deeds ; but the 
corps of officers and non-commissioned officers are 
alike inefficient and unsusceptible of improvement. 
Promotion by merit alone is unheard of in the 
Ottoman service. The subaltern ranks are filled 
by the personal slaves or domestics of the pachas ; 
and such commissions are often the wages of 
disgrace. Promotion to the superior ranks is 
obtainable only by bribery or intrigue ; the grade 
of colonel or pacha is purchased by the highest 
bidder; who subsequently recovers the sum he 
has disbursed by defrauding his regiment, or 
robbing the government. The simplest military 
rules are ignored by the officers, who are often 
withdrawn from a civil appointment to occupy a 
high military position. This was the case with 

* Duncan : i. ISO. 



the commandcr-iu-chief of the army of Anatolia, 
Zarif Mustapha Pacha,' 

General Williams, an English officer of engineers, 
was appointed British Military-Commissioner to 
the Turkish army in Asia. As a sort of authori- 
tative adviser on military matters, he might 
possibly have exerted some influence over Zarif; 
but he did not reach Kars until September, when 
the mischief had been already achieved. He was 
a man who knew well the Turks and the Turkish 
language, and was much liked among them ; on 
this account, his presence a month or two earlier 
would have been especially valuable. But in this 
appointment, as in many other particulars, the 
movements of the Allies \vere tardy. 



INTRIGUES IN NORTH -WESTERN 
TURKEY. 

Attention must now be directed towards Europe. 
The hostilities and intrigues on the Turkish 
frontiers in 1853-4, to which the present Chapter 
relates, were partly displayed in the Slavonic 
provinces which bound the more purely Moham- 
medan part of European Turkey. There were 
turbulent proceedings in those regions, which call 
for a brief notice here, not because they were 
Slavic or Slavonic, but because they were Russo- 
Slavic a development of that system which had 
rendered Russian interference intolerable to Turkey, 
and which imperatively called for a check from 
the Western Powers. 

Religion is the key to this system. Constanti- 
nople, when held by the By/antine emperors a 
thousand years ago, gave Christianity in a very 
perverted form, it is true to the barbarous Russ ; 
and now that the Russ have become a powerful 
nation, they look to the acquisition of dominant 
control over that same Constantinople, at the 
expense of the Osmanli who at present govern it. 
Moreover, when the Ottomans made their conquests 
in Europe, the country now called Turkey was 
mostly inhabited by tribes of the Slavon or Slavonic 
race, the same as that from which the Russians are 
sprung ; and these Slavons professed the same 
religion as the Russians that is, Christianity of 
the Greek Church. Hence there has been for 
400 years a sympathy between Russia and the 
Christian provinces of Turkey a sympathy which 
would command respect, had it not been employed 
as a tool by ambitious czars. In those cases where 
the authority of the Christian czar has been sub- 
stituted for that of the Mohammedan sultan, liberty 
of conscience, liberty of thought and speech, liberty 
of action and of movement, the sacredness of 
domestic life, the development of manly indepen- 
dence none of these have been furthered, while 
many of them have been compromised. Laying 
aside the officials and the priests, the inhabitants 
of Russianised provinces have had little reason 
to congratulate themselves on their emancipation 
from the sultan's rule. In what manner Russian 



INTRIGUES IN NORTH-WESTERN TURKEY : 1853-4. 



141 



audacity brought about the Turkish troubles in 
Moldavia and Wallachia, has been shewn in former 
Chapters ; but there were equally active, although 
less obvious, intrigues in progress by Russian agents 
in other parts of the Turkish dominions. 

Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, Turkish Croatia, Her- 
zegovina, Montenegro, all arc among the Turkish 
provinces in which the majority of the inhabitants 
are Christians some of them members of the Latin 
or Romish Church, but by far the larger number 
adhering to the Greek faith. Of the great Slavonic 
race, there are probably 60,000,000 (including 
10,000,000 Poles) under Russian rule, 12,000,000 
under Austrian, and 8,000,000 more or less under 
Turkish domination. These are nearly all Chris- 
tians, but not of the same church ; the Poles, most 
of the Austrian Slavons, and a few of the Turkish, 
are Roman Catholics; while all the rest, consti- 
tuting by far the larger number, are members 
of the Greek Church. It is quite lamentable to 
witness the bitter hatred between these two great 
bodies of Christians in the south-eastern region of 
Europe. Much as the Mohammedan may have 
crushed and spurned the Christian in past ages, 
yet in intensity of hatred he is more than paral- 
leled by the Christians themselves Greek against 
Latin, Patriarch against Pope. There are not 
.wanting grounds for believing that Poland owes 
much of its misfortune to these contests between 
the rival churches. When Poland and Hungary 
were large and independent kingdoms the one 
more powerful than Russia, and the other than 
Austria Romanism was the authoritative religion 
in both countries, although the Greek faith was 
professed by millions of subjects ; and so relentless 
was the persecution which the one body of priests 
maintained against the other, that many of the 
Polish adherents of the Greek Church were driven 
into the arms of Russia, while many of the Greek 
Church subjects of the kings of Hungary sought 
shelter even under the banner of the Crescent. 
This occurred many centuries ago; in later ages, 
the Greek Church, backed by the czars, has pos- 
sessed more power of persecution over the Latins. 

Without duly considering this triplicate of reli- 
gious discord, the strange condition of Turkey, and 
of Russian influence within it, cannot be under- 
stood. There are, besides the Osmanlis or true 
Mohammedan Turks, Slavons who have become 
Mohammedans, Slavons of the Greek Church, and 
Slavons of the Latin Church ; and these hate each 
other for their diverse religions, more than they 
love each other for their common race or Slavonic 
blood. The sultan has the sympathies of the first, 
the czar of the second, while Austria endeavours to 
become the ' protector' of the third. If Roman 
Catholics were more numerous than they arc in 
Turkey, the intrigues of Austria would probably 
be nearly as mischievous, though not so grandly 
audacious, as those of Russia have proved to be. 
Austria has long coveted a portion of the triangular 
north-west corner of European Turkey, in which 
the Roman Catholic subjects of the sultan chiefly 



reside, and which borders on the Illyrian and 
Dalmatian provinces of the Austrian Empire. 
Herzegovina and Turkish Croatia are the extreme 
portions of this triangle. Whatever may have 
been the predilections of the Austrian court, 
however, the machinations of Russia are those 
which Turkey and her Allies were called upon 
to unmask and to repel. 

Glancing round the provinces which fringe 
European Turkey on the north and west, we first 
meet with Bulgaria, a region already described 
in connection with the Danubian campaign of 
1853-4. Its inhabitants a peculiar admixture of 
the Slavon with the Roumani mostly profess the 
Greek faith ; and the events of the campaign 
abundantly shewed that the priests of the villages, 
high and low, were hand and heart with the czar, 
ready to have furthered the least success obtained 
by the Russian troops. When Prince Gortchakoff 
caused his flaming proclamation to be translated 
into the Bulgarian language, and disseminated 
throughout the province, he well knew the aid 
which the priests of the Greek communion would 
be ready to afford. In the large fortified towns, 
such as Widdin, Silistria, Rustchuk, Varna, and 
Shumla, where Osmanli officials and Osmanli 
soldiers are always placed, the influence of the 
Christian priests is less apparent ; but the country 
districts contain few Turks ; and there the Bulga- 
rian peasant is at the mercy of his papa or priest, 
in all that concerns belief and reverence. Many of 
the peasants' houses, during the war, were found 
to contain coloured daubs of the Emperor Nicholas, 
as wall-decorations. The emissaries of the late 
czar, both lay and clerical, had represented him 
to the simple Bulgarians as their Great Protector 
one who would avenge the harsh usage which 
they have unquestionably received from the 
Osmanlis in past ages: the peasants had not yet 
learned to know that the czar might be a harder 
taskmaster than the sultan. So far as regards 
actual hostilities, the Russians did not succeed in 
this war in raising an insurrection in Bulgaria; 
the achievements of Omar Pacha, and the presence 
of the Allies at Varna, prevented this. 

Passing westward from Bulgaria, we come to 
one of the most remarkable nations in Europe 
the Servians. A great Slavonic state in the four- 
teenth century, Servia has passed through many 
fluctuations of liberty and tyranny. Sometimes 
she has been under an oppressive Ottoman 
yoke ; at other times, an independent kingdom 
under her own krals or sovereigns ; and then, 
a sort of republic under a bold but tyrannical 
adventurer ; while at the present day her position 
presents an intermediate aspect. Servia is now as 
nearly free as a tributary state can well be. The 
sultan receives an annual tribute, and occupies 
Belgrade and a few other fortified positions ; but 
in other matters the Servians are almost wholly 
independent of Turkish control. A sort of parlia- 
mentary government exists ; schools are numerous ; 
literature is rising ; the country is fertile and 



142 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



prosperous; and there are many circumstances 
connected with it interesting to Englishmen. The 
attitude of the Servians during the war was excel- 
lent. They had to steer clear of three powers 
Turkey, Austria, and Russia. The Turkish yoke 
has become so light as hardly to be felt, and the 
ians shew no great desire to throw off what 
yet remains. Austria is not quite at ease, in 
"contemplating a rising Servian state, in which 
liberty of speech and writing and action is more 
observable than in the Slavonic provinces of her 
own empire. Many occasions have presented 
themselves in which Austria has shewn a desire 
to pick a quarrel with Servia, or to interfere in the 
internal government of that state. At the outset 
of the troubles between Russia and Turkey, when 
the course of events could not be clearly foreseen, 
Austria assembled an army near the Servian 
frontier, as if to avail herself of any favourable 
conjuncture in the progress of the dispute. The 
Servians, however, exhibited no tendency either 
to quarrel or to coalesce with the Austrians : they 
simply wished to remain quiet and neutral. Russian 
influence was more considerable in Servia, on 
account of religious sympathies. The Servian 
princes are in some sense constitutional monarchs, 
but the principle of hereditary succession has not 
yet become determinately established ; and the 
czar has had an influence in the election of the 
princes. At the commencement of the Avar, 
Russian intrigue was busy in Servia ; emissaries 
endeavoured to embroil the Servians with the 
sultan. There was a spirit of nationality, however, 
exhibited. Servia refused to permit a Turkish 
army to traverse the province on its way from 
Bosnia to Widdin ; she warded off the entrance of 
an Austrian army ; and she had a sufficient insight 
into the nature of Russian protection to keep on 
her guard against the mischievous intrigues of the 
czar. Servia remained unmolested. At the end 
of December 1853, the sultan issued a hatti-sherif, 
confirming, in a formal manner, all the internal 
constitutional privileges of Servia ; acknowledging 
the position of Alexander, Prince of Servia ; and 
rendering the rule of the Porte so light, as to 
leave little inducement to the Servians to -wish to 
throw it off. 

The province adjoining Servia is more strangely 
circumstanced. Although mainly inhabited by 
Slavonians, these Slavonians have in great number 
become Mohammedans. Renegades in faith are 
frequently violent haters of their old religion ; and, 
in accordance with this tendency, the Moham- 
medans of Bosnia are more bigoted even than 
the Osmanhs, more rooted to the old Oriental 
usages of the Turks, and opposed to the useful 
reforms which Abdul-Medjid and his minister 
Reshid Pacha endeavoured to effect. Bosnian 
Mohammedans entertain a hearty hatred for the 
Greek Church ; and Austria has been enabled to 
avail herself of this circumstance to obtain con- 
siderable influence in the province. Most of the 
commerce is in the hands of Austrians ; Austrian 



ducats, zwanzigers, and bank-notes, pass current ; 
and Latin ecclesiastics in the interest of Austria 
have not been slow to win the good- will of many 
of the Bosnians, by pandering to their dislike of 
the Greek Church. The same may, to a consider- 
able extent, be said of the adjacent provinces of 
Turkish Croatia and Herzegovina ; these contain a 
greater relative number of Roman Catholics than 
any other Turkish provinces, and on that account 
there is a kind of natural religious sympathy 
between the inhabitants and the Austrians. Not 
that the Austrian government is viewed with 
much admiration by any of them ; the ties that 
assist in binding the dwellers on opposite sides of 
the frontier are those of religion and commerce. 
Throughout this region, it is Austria, rather than 
Russia, whose movements require to be watched 
by those powers which would fain maintain the 
integrity of Turkey. The wishes of Austria have 
long been known to statesmen; and in the remark- 
able conversation between the Emperor Nicholas 
and Sir Hamilton Seymour in January 1853, as well 
as in the secret discussions of 1844 (Chapter III.), 
it is rendered manifest that Austria was ready to 
take part in the dissolution of the Turkish Empire ; 
to side with the czar in such a contingency, if the 
coveted ' Illyriau triangle ' were made over to her. 
In a geographical and commercial sense, this 
triangle might perhaps be more fittingly Austrian 
than Turkish ; but this was not the question which 
the Allies of the sultan were called upon to con- 
sider in 1854. So far from this Austrian tendency 
being a counterbalance or frustration of Russian 
aggressive schemes, it was in reality an encourage- 
ment ; for Russia, if potent at Constantinople, 
would have allowed Austria for a time at least 
to obtain the Illyriau triangle. In this sense, 
Russian schemes were dangerous, even in provinces 
more likely to become Austrian than Russian in 
the event of a break-up of the Turkish Empire. 
Many revolts and turbulent insurrections occurred 
in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1850-1-2 ; but as 
they were less connected with the czar's intrigues 
than others which the sultan was called upon to 
meet, they may be passed without notice here. 

In Montenegro, however, the case was different. 
Here Russian tendencies were most manifest ; and 
it becomes necessary to acquire a clear notion of 
this extraordinary patch of country, in connection 
with the coherency or otherwise of the Turkish 
Empire. 

Whether the province be called Montenegro, 
Tchernegora, Mail-Zeze, or Kara-dagh, the signi- 
fication is the same ; for these four are, respec- 
tively, the Venetian, Slavonian, Albanian, and 
Turkish equivalents of ' Black Mountain,' a general 
name for the district. Nothing in Europe, perhaps, 
excels this extraordinary spot as a mountain 
fastness. Approached from any side, from Albania, 
or Bosnia, or Dalmatia, it presents to view an 
almost perpendicular wall of rock, jagged with 
peaks rising to a height of 6000 or 8000 feet, 
separated by ravines of the most rugged character. 



INTRIGUES IN NORTH-WESTERN TURKEY : 1853-4. 



143 



From this boundary of mountains converge 
numerous minor chains, which divide and sub- 
divide the included area into deep valleys. The 
area is scarcely as large as an average English 
county, yet is it most difficult to enter, and nearly 
as difficult to traverse. 

This savage region has been the abode, the 
refuge, of hardy mountaineers for unnumbered 
centuries attacked by various surrounding nations 
in turn, but never thoroughly subdued by any. 
The basis of the population is Slavonic. The 
sultans have claimed Montenegro as part of 



European Turkey for four centuries past ; but the 
claim has never been wholly admitted ; and hence 
has ensued terrible bloodshed. Being almost 
close to the Adriatic, Montenegro has been 
regarded with wistful eyes by Austria ; being of 
Slavonic race and of Greek Christian faith, Mon- 
tenegro has long been ' protected' by Russia ; and 
thus the mountain-state has been brought into 
a degree of political importance which it would 
not otherwise possess. 

In one among many contests to which the 
Montenegrins were exposed in past times, they 




Montenegro. 



Avere left without an acknowledged chieftain ; as 
a substitute, they gave temporal power to their 
vladika or chief-priest, constituting him a sort of 
warlike pope. This affords a clue to the hold 
maintained by Russia over the sympathies of 
Montenegro. Since the time of Peter the Great, 
the czars have claimed to be the head of the 
Greek Church; and although this claim may not 
have been formally admitted, a power has been 
virtually exercised in conformity with it. The 
priests of the Greek faith in all the Turkish 
provinces, as has been more than once explained, 
very generally admit this claim, covertly if not 
openly. The czars have been lavish to the 
vladikas, and have bid highly for power in 
Montenegro through the influence thus acquired. 

Captain Spencer, writing in 1851, speaks thus 
of Montenegro, in respect to the sympathy between 
the vladika and the Russians : ' The present 

vladika received his education in Russia 

The principal revenue of the vladika arises from 
a pension given by the court of Russia, amounting 



to about 30,000 florins an enormous sum in a 
country like this, where luxury is unknown, and 
where, in the absence of a metallic currency, 
commercial transactions are carried on by barter. 
In addition to this, he possesses certain hereditary 
lands, fisheries on the Lake of Scutari,* and some 
trifling benefits as a dignitary of the Greek Church. 
So large a portion of his income being derived 
from his pension, some travellers, unacquainted 
with the democratic character of this people, 
consider the vladika to be an imperial Natchalnik, 
and Tchernegora a Russian dependency.' 

The consideration last named is one of much 
significance. Attracted as the Montenegrins may 
be towards the czar by the ties of race and 
religion, there yet remains a strong contrast in 
all that concerns government. The mountaineers 
retain a warm love of liberty, a scorn of such 
despotism as that under which the serfs of Russia 
live ; they could ill brook an exchange of their 

* It is necessary not to confound this with the Scutari which 
forms one of the suburbs of Constantinople. 



144 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



highland freedom for Muscovite repression. M. 
Goluvin, after asserting that no other Slavonian 
tribe is so devoted to the Russians as the Monte- 
negrins, proceeds to observe : ' But in reality, they 
are republicans and socialists. The greatest 
onialitv prevails amongst them; and never could 
the Russians establish amongst their warriors any 
discipline or subordination. A Russian traveller, 
M. Cliijof, told me that on his visit to the vladika, 
letters were brought and tea was served : the 
postilion took tea with them.' * The same writer 
adduces many examples in support of his assertion 
concerning the general leaning of the mountaineers 
to Russia in other than political or governmental 
matters. 'A Russian feels himself at home at 
Montenegro. The houses are built in the same 
way as the cabins of the Russian peasants; the 
holy images are always to be seen in the corner 
of the rooms ; the host treats the Russian as a 
friend, with true ancient Slavonian hospitality, 
which goes even so far as the washing of his 
feet. Montenegrin women kiss the hand of 
the guest, and are kept in a state of inferiority, 
serfdom, and contempt, which, however, may 
be accounted an Eastern rather than a Slavonic 

custom The portraits of the Russian 

czars are held in almost the same veneration 
as the holy images, and are also kissed by the 
people.' 

The boundary between Montenegro and Austrian 
Dalmatia was settled by a treaty in 1840; the 
boundary on the Turkish side has never been 
determined, for the Ottoman Porte still insists 
that Montenegro is a state tributary to the sultan, 
while the mountaineers will not admit any such 
subjection. In respect to religion, they are not 
more opposed to the Turks than to the Austrians 
or the Venetians ; for their Greek faith is of that 
intensity which leads to a bitter hatred of Roman 
Catholicism. The numerous contests between the 
armed bauds of the sultan and those of the vladika 
have been rather national than religious, although 
'Death to the Infidel!' has too often been the 
war-cry on both sides. 

To what extent the Montenegrins were incited 
by Russia, is imperfectly known ; but shortly after 
the declaration of war by Turkey, and before 
England and France had formally commenced 
hostilities, the vladika, Prince Daniel, shewed indi- 
cations of an intention to invade the neighbouring 
Ottoman provinces ; and the pachas of Herzegdvina 
and Albania were ordered to keep a watch over 
his movements. Collisions frequently occurred, in 
February 1854, in the rugged district east of 
Montenegro, between those who braved and those 
who defended the sultan's authority: they were, 
however, rather raids or predatory excursions 
than regular hostilities ; and the Turks experienced 
no great difficulty in repelling the Montenegrins. 
Towards the end of March, when the Greeks 
on the southern frontier of Turkey had risen in 

The Xations of Russia and Turkey, p. 50. 



rebellion, the vladika made a bolder move ; he 
issued a proclamation to all the Montenegrins, 
dated March 4-f, from Cettina or Zettinye, the 
chief town of the mountain state, calling upon all 
the mountaineers to declare whether they would 
join him in a hostile attack upon Turkey, ' to shed 
their blood for the Holy Cross, the orthodox faith, 
and their country' language precisely similar to 
that used about the same time by the czar and 
his generals. The movement was said to be 
fostered by Colonel Kovalcffsky, an emissary 
from St Petersburg. Four thousand men came 
forward in a crusading spirit, such as had ani- 
mated Europe seven centuries earlier; and 20,000 
armed men, in all, were ready to join in any 
pressing exigency. A plan w r as formed whereby 
the vladika would enter Herzegovina ; while the 
voivode, George Petrovitch, with another force, 
would enter Albania ; and the two were then to 
endeavour to cause a rising among all the Christian 
villages against the Ottoman authorities. To what 
extent this movement might have aided the 
designs of Russia, it is now impossible to say ; but 
the jealousy of Austria was aroused she feared 
the growth of a Russianised power within cannon- 
shot of the Adriatic. An arrangement was con- 
cluded between Turkey and Austria, to the effect 
that, if the vladika's plans were put in practice, 
an Austrian force should enter Herzegovina, ami 
there check the progress of the mountaineers. 
This decision was effectual ; the Montenegrin 
inroads became insignificant ; and Russia shewed 
much irritation at the interference of Austria. 



GREEK ATTACKS ON THE TURKISH 
BORDER. 

The rapid sketch just given will have rendered 
intelligible the peculiar relation to Turkey on 
the one hand, and to Russia on the other borne 
by various provinces inhabited mainly by the 
Slavonic race. The sultan, while harassed and 
insulted by MenchikofFs demands, and while 
driven into a war rendered inevitable by Russian 
arrogance, was at the same time called upon 
to meet and subdue rebellious risings in many 
of his frontier provinces. In the whole extent, 
east and west, from the Black Sea to the 
Illyrian boundary ; and thence north and south, 
nearly parallel with the Adriatic all the border 
provinces contain far more Christians than 
Mohammedans ; and of these Christians, the 
members of the Greek Church far outnumber 
those of the Latin or Roman Catholic. Hence 
it happened, that when hostilities commenced 
between Turkey and Russia, the czar calculated 
on great assistance from the sympathy of these 
Christians of the Greek Church. If this assistance 
did not reach the expected degree, the falling-off 
may be attributed in great part to religious 
antagonism the ill-will between the Greek and 
Latin Churches. The intrigues caused worry and 















- 
Si 

^-o 

B(3^ 

- <M fO 
OJ ^; cvj f 



il 




GREEK ATTACKS ON THE TURKISH BORDER : 1853-4. 



145 



anxiety to the Ottoman government, but no large 
expenditure of forces or ammunition. 

Far more serious were the events which 
occurred on the southern frontier of Turkey, 
the boundary between the Turkish and Greek 
kingdoms. The Greek religion has been many 
times mentioned in this Chaper, but not the Greek 
nation. There is a perplexity about this Avhich 
sometimes leads to error. The religion of Russia 
and of many Slavonic provinces is called Greek, 
because it was established by the Greek or Byzan- 
tine emperors of Constantinople fifteen centuries 
ago ; whereas the Greeks, as a nation, occupy the 
chosen land of the great republicans of classic 
times, and speak a language but slightly different 
from the classic Greek. The nation whose capital 
is at Athens, is Greek in name and Greek in 
religion : if it has sympathy with Russia, this 
sympathy is due to religion, and not to race ; for 
the Greek race differs as much from the Slavonic 
as from the Osmanli. 

Greece Avas part of the Turkish Empire from the 
date of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople 
down to the year 1827. But the Greeks never 
coalesced with the Osmanlis: race and faith kept 
them asunder. Greeks are and have been spread 
about in all the towns of European Turkey, carry- 
ing on many of the manufactures and branches of 
commerce, but always maintaining their character- 
istics as a distinct people. Never, at the worst of 
times, did they relinquish the hope of one day being 
again a free people. Their hope Avas realised, so far 
at least as in the formation of a petty kingdom, 
composed of the southern provinces of Turkey. 
The Greeks began to reA T olt about the year 1820 ; 
and a certain heroic tinge throAvn over the events 
of the movement excited the admiration of Western 
Europe of the people, if not of the gOA r ernments. 
The success of the Greeks on the coasts of the Morea 
and the islands, due to their sea-faring capabilities ; 
the demand by the sultan of assistance from the 
pacha of Egypt ; the deA'astating warfare on land 
and sea that thence ensued, and lasted many years 
at length attracted the attention of other powers. 
A treaty Avas signed, by virtue of Avhich English, 
French, and Russian fleets fought for the Greeks 
against Turkey and her vassal. On the 20th of 
October 1827 Avas fought the battle of Navarino 
an ' untoAvard event,' as the English minister truly 
designated it : an event Avhich nearly annihilated 
the Turkish navy, and greatly increased the poAver 
of Russia to interfere in Turkish affairs. True, 
Greek independence of Turkish rule Avas advanced 
thereby ; but the elements of disorder still 
remained. 

It is IIOAV knoAvn that the English government 
of that day, when it took a part in Turkish affairs, 
did not at first contemplate the formation of a 
Greek kingdom distinct from Turkey.* 

* The Earl of Aberdeen, foreign minister at the time, explained 
this matter twenty-five years afterwards. ' I have already, I think, 
referred in this House to the fact, which your lordships well know, 
that at the beginning, and during the progress of the Greek revolu- 
tion, Mr Canning never contemplated the existence of Greece as an 



Between the years 1827 and 1833, Greece was a 
scene of discord ; severed politically from Turkey, 
but unable to settle doAvn into a regular state. At 
length the allies of Greece offered the crown of 
that neAvly formed kingdom to the king of Bavaria, 
for his younger son Otho, then a minor ; and the 
offer being accepted, Otho, accompanied by a 
council of regency, entered his dominions. Otho, 
Avho came of age in 1835, professed the Roman 
Catholic religion, as did likeAvise his queen, a 
princess of Oldenburg ; but a clause in the con- 
stitutional charter enacted, that the children 
of the marriage should be brought up in the 
Greek faith, conformably with the religion of the 
country. 

The formation of this new Greek kingdom led 
to the aggressive movements of 1853-4 in this 
wise. Many Turkish provinces, containing more 
Greeks than Osmanlis, Avere left out of this repar- 
tition ; they remained subject to a Mohammedan 
sultan, instead of coming under the sway of a 
Christian king; the Greek population exhibited 
a turbulent tendency on many occasions ; and 
when the czar of Russia saw that a movement 
in that quarter might aid his schemes, he spared 
neither influence nor promises, neither gold nor 
honours, to obtain a control over the king and 
court of Greece. Epirus and Thessaly Turkish 
provinces having a marked preponderance of 
Greek inhabitants Avere not included in the 
new kingdom. This mode of establishing a 
Greek kingdom has been characterised as ' one of 
those unfortunate half-measures, which, instead of 
solving a difficulty, only lead to further and more 
serious complications.' The establishment of the 
neAv kingdom, far from being regarded by the 
Greeks as a final measure, Avas only looked upon 
by them as the first step toAvards the dissolution 
of the Ottoman Empire, and as the sanction of 
Europe for the establishment of Greek rule on the 
ruins of Islam. A kind of secret society was 
formed in Greece, having in view a dreamy 
project for the re-establishment of a Greek empire, 
with Constantinople as its capital ; and the emis- 
saries of this society, spread throughout Epirus and 
Thessaly, kept the Greek-Christian inhabitants of 
those Turkish provinces in a fever of expectation, 
by holding out to them hopes of being one day 
freed from the Ottoman yoke. When Greece was 
formed into a kingdom, the boundary-line was 
ill chosen ; it left both sides open to incursions, 
and could only be guarded at an immense expense. 

independent kingdom ; neither did I nor the Duke of Wellington 
ever contemplate the existence of Greece as an independent king- 
dom, but solely as a vassal state under the suzerainete of the Porte, 
somewhat similar to Wallachia and Moldavia ; but when the Treaty 
of Adrianople was signed, it appeared to me, and my noble friend then 
at the head of the government agreed with me, that the condition 
of the Turkish Empire was so perilous in itself, that it would be 
extremely unwise to create a state, and place it under the protection 
and suzerainetiS of an empire which itself was exposed to extreme 
peril, and the existence of which was not to be counted on for any 
time with the least degree of certainty. Therefore we proposed to 
our allies to convert that vassal state into an independent kingdom. 
Our allies agreed, and the Porte at last assented to it also ; and 
hence the existence of Greece as an independent kingdom is due to 
the impression produced on us by the terms of that treaty.' Speech 
in the House of Lords, June 26, 1854. 



146 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



This circumstance afforded great facilities for 
predatory attacks on the Turkish territory from 
Greece. Moreover, the new government proved to 
be singularly unfitted for the development of a 
healthy nationality. The young king took with 
him the notions of petty despotism which too often 
belong to the German princes. Instead of leaving 
the Greeks their local institutions, he sought to 
subject everything to a courtly rule, ridiculous in 
so small a territory, and unsuited to the peculiar 
characteristics of the Greeks. A camarilla, or 
court-party ; a centralised system of government, 
iii which all honours and offices were bestowed by 
the king ; a large military force, where an efficient 
police would have sufficed ; a grand parade of 
courtiers, of lords and ladies of the household, for a 
state which could scarcely pay any of its debts ; a 
sumptuous palace at Athens, built at a cost which 
should have defrayed the legitimate expenses of 
the government such were the means whereby 
King Otho misgoverned the country intrusted to 
his keeping. The Greek character deteriorated as 
a consequence ; a certain natural tendency to 
cunning, craft, deceit, was fostered; while the 
nobler qualities were repressed. The queen, too 
a woman of great decision of character belonged 
to one of those German families which almost 
worshipped the Czar Nicholas, as the incarnation 
of that despotic power which they so much wished 
to imitate in their own humbler sphere ; and this 
Russian tendency led the queen to advocate 
measures which would have rendered Greece a 
tributary to Russia, rather than an independent 
state. Athens became to a considerable extent a 
resort of needy adventurers from various countries ; 
European shops and coffee-houses, hotels and 
billiard-rooms, French perruquiers and milliners, 
Italian confectioners, German pipe-makers, English 
drapers, Armenian money-lenders, Oriental bazaar- 
keepers, Jewish clothes-salesmen, kilted Albanians 
all mingled with the native Greeks in the once 
famous city of Theseus.* 

A society, called the Heteria, or Hetceria, laboured 
for many years to bring about the establishment 
of a new empire, which should comprise the 
Greeks, the south Slavonians, or those of the 
Danubian provinces, and the Wallacks or Roumani, 
with Constantinople as the capital, and Greece as 
the chief member of the state. This was on the 
ground of community of religion. Another principle, 
busily disseminated during many years by men 
more zealous than observant, was that of Pansla- 
vism the bringing into one whole of all countries 
inhabited by Slavonians. This was on the ground 
of community of race. While, as a third variety, 
there were Hellenists, who desired that all whose 
veins contained the true Greek blood should form 
one state, independent of the Osmanlis on the one 
hand, and of the Slavonians on the other, although 
allied to the latter in faith. These three moving 
forces occasionally coalesced, and occasionally met 

Golovin. 



in opposition ; and it is not always easy to see 
which was most active in producing the turbulent 
proceedings of the Greeks on the Turkish border. 
It is possible, even, to name a fourth source of 
disturbance ; for the Russian sympathies of the 
court did not correspond exactly with the yearnings 
of the Heteria, or of the Panslavists, or of the 
Hellenists. 

Petty annoyances frequently occurred on the 
part of the subjects of King Otho towards the 
Turkish government between 1835 and 1853; but 
the Menchikoff mission was the signal for some- 
thing more daring. There is abundant evidence 
that the court of Athens was petted and flattered 
by the Czar Nicholas, as a part of his deep- 
laid scheme concerning Turkey. If the Greek 
Christians of Thessaly and Epirus could be roused 
into rebellion against the sultan, the weakening 
of the Ottoman poAver, 'the sick man,' would 
have facilitated Russian machinations. True, the 
Greeks themselves might have done this on the 
inspiration of nationality, the sympathies of the 
Hellenic race on either side of the border ; but 
the result would not the less surely favour the 
prosecution of his plans. 

Prince MenchikofF, it will be remembered 
(p. 16), delivered his credentials at Constantinople 
on the 2d of March 1853. At that very time, 
other Russian officials went to Athens, and were 
soon busily engaged with King Otho and his 
court. Admiral KornilofF was one of these ; he 
had a private interview with the king ; and soon 
afterwards much political agitation was observable 
at Athens. Early in April, the fruits of this 
appeared. Mr Wyse, British minister at Athens, 
wrote home a dispatch (April 7) stating that 1200 
men, with four pieces of artillery, had just departed 
for the Turkish frontier ; that the English, French, 
and Turkish envoys had not been informed of the 
movement or its objects ; and the Greek govern- 
ment gave evasive answers concerning the intent 
of such a proceeding. Mr Wyse's language was 
full of significance, regarding the sleepless activity 
and unshrinking audacity of the Russian agents. 
Speaking of this sudden movement of Greek troops, 
he said : ' Some connect it with the events of 
Montenegro, others with the Russian mission of 
Prince MenchikofF to Constantinople, Admiral 
KornilofFs arrival and supposed interviews with 
the king here, &c. Both regard it as little less 
than the commencement of another " War of Inde- 
pendence," in which all the Greek race will ere- 
long be called to share, and which is to terminate, 
not in a kingdom of Greece, but in the Hellenic 
Empire of the East. Of course the Greek govern- 
ment officially deprecate these extravagances, 
and the Russian legation cannot give them their 
avowed support ; but neither is of much conse- 
quence : the Russian government need do nothing, 
for everything is done for them by the Russian 
party, of which there is a large section in the 
ministry and the court, it is believed, at its head. 
If official documents are silent, their organ, the 



GREEK ATTACKS ON THE TURKISH BORDER : 1853-4. 



147 



Aidn, speaks in a tone which no Greek mis- 
understands. It abounds of late in unmeasured 
denunciations of the Christian powers who alone 
keep alive, it is alleged, the anti-Christian and 
monstrous tyranny of Turkey ; it calls upon them to 
break up the decrepit iniquity at once ; it points 
out the Hellenic Empire which is inevitably to 
replace it under the invincible arms of Russia, 
and already designates (with little heed to the 
reigning Bavarian dynasty) the Russian prince 
(brought up by a Greek nurse) who would be 

so well fitted to preside over its destinies 

Whatever may be the causes or pleas of this 
military movement, one thing is certain, that it 
has eminently contributed to keep alive, if not 
rouse, the antipathies, passions, and expecta- 
tions of the Greeks ; in other words, to prepare 
more and more the materials and instruments, in 
a Russian sense, for the crisis (to which all are 
now looking) whenever it shall come. This explains 
why there was such silence here until the arrange- 
ments were carried out, lest by any chance we 
should have impeded the execution.' * 

There appears to have been a dispute about 
that time, concerning the position of two villages, 
whether they were on the northern or on the 
southern, on the Turkish or on the Greek, side of 
the ill-defined frontier-line. The court of Athens 
pretended that the warlike .movements were 
intended simply to enforce the Greek claim in 
respect to those two villages ; but this pretension 
was merely a screen to other objects. Besides this 
approach of Greek troops to the Turkish frontier 
acknowledged, but not with a truthful explanation, 
by the court of Athens there were repeated acts 
of brigandage, which the court disclaimed, but 
adopted no measures to prevent. The state of 
Athens was at that time peculiar. The Russian 
party had its newspaper organ, the Aion, while 
the independent or Hellenic party had the Athena; 
the former advocated the placing of Greece under 
Russian protection, while the Hellenists and their 
newspaper desired to see a true nationality arise 
Greeks governed by Greek institutions in a Greek 
spirit. Had the king been worthy of his position, 
the Greek nationality might possibly have been 
fostered into healthy action ; but he was swayed 
by a narrow spirit of petty despotism ; he was 
greatly influenced by his queen, who, in her 
turn, was influenced by the promises and projects 
of the Czar Nicholas. She had day-dreams of 
being one day a queen, perhaps an empress, at 
Constantinople. While the diplomatists were dis- 
cussing the propriety or impropriety of the Greek 
intrigues on the Turkish border, the queen went to 
Germany, stopping at Trieste and Vienna on her 
way ; and at those places she called upon the 
Greek merchants to contribute towards the efforts 
which their compatriots were making to throw off 
the Ottoman yoke. The king and queen were 
doubtlessly affected by varying motives in their 

* Parliamentary Papers on Greco-Turkish Affairs, p. 3. 



conduct, as the tide of events flowed on ; but the 
Russian agency in Greece, as in many of the 
Turkish provinces, was mainly carried on through 
the medium of the priesthood. ' The real secret of 
Russian strength in Greece,' it was observed at 
that period in the Times, ' is, that it lies not in the 
cliques or coteries of Athens, but in the hearts of 
the people in the deep fanaticism which forms 
the basis of the Greek character. It is not generals 
and senators who form the agents of the czar, but 
needy and ill-fed priests, sprung from the ranks of 
the people, the brothers and cousins of the savage 
borderers who have precipitated themselves on the 
Thessalian towns. So far from the higher classes 
having urged on a Russian propaganda, it is the 
fact that they have been forced into dependence 
on the Muscovite by the pressure of a priest-led 
people.' The czar, it appears from a dispatch 
written by Mr Wyse on August 14, had about that 
time distributed a large quantity of church vest- 
ments to various churches in Greece ; he also sent 
a Russian priest, who made a tour through the 
Morea, ' for his health and pleasure,' as he said ; 
but the priest, says Mr Wyse, ' is also chaplain to 
the Russian legation, and the period is singularly 
chosen.' 

The English and French ministers at Athens 
protested so strongly against the tendencies of 
King Otho's government, that no military inroads 
upon the Turkish territories were made during the 
summer, other than mere brigandage. As autumn 
advanced, however, more troops were sent from 
Athens to the frontier ; and M. Pai'cos, the Greek 
minister for foreign affairs, gave, in this as in 
numerous other instances, a hollow and disinge- 
nuous reply to Mr Wyse's demands for explana- 
tions on the matter. Collateral information from 
another quarter, about the same time, shewed in 
a remarkable way how little likely the court of 
Athens was to respect the southern provinces of 
Turkey. Bavaria, it has been explained, was the 
native country, the family home, of King Otho ; 
and the court of Munich had never ceased to take 
a deep interest in the welfare of the court of 
Athens. Sir John Milbanke, British minister at 
Munich, wrote a dispatch, in which he stated that 
the Bavarian ministers had openly sounded him on 
the desirability of taking Epirus and Thessaly from 
Turkey, and giving them to Greece a proposal 
which, whatever might have been the case when 
the kingdom of Greece was first formed, came 
with an ill grace at a time when Turkey was 
weighed down by troubles brought on by Russia. 

The year 1854 opened in the midst of great 
excitement in the south-western provinces of 
Turkey. Emissaries from Athens, whether insti- 
gated by the court or otherwise, endeavoured to 
arouse the Greek inhabitants of Epirus and Thessaly 
to revolt. These endeavours continued throughout 
the month of January. The influence of Russia 
was unquestionably displayed during these move- 
ments, whatever may have been the case in respect 
to the unworthy occupant of the Greek throne. 



148 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



In February, the following proclamation and form 
of oath \\riv di.-tribuU-d in the neighbourhood of 
Arta, one of the principal towns in Epirus : 

P II C L A M A T 1 N. 

Y\Y the- undersigned, inhabitants and primates 
(elders) of Radobitsa (Iladovitzi), in tbe province of 
Arta, sighing under the pressure of the exorbitant 
taxation which has been imposed on us by Ottoman 
conquerors, who are not only incapable of civilisation, 
but, besides, violate the chastity of our maidens, do 
renew the struggle of 1821, and swear by the name of 
the Almighty and by our sacred fatherland, in no case, 
and under no plea, to lay down our arms until we have 
obtained our liberty. 

Now, at the commencement of the struggle, we hope 
to rouse the sympathy of our brethren, of the free 
Greeks, and of all those groaning under the Ottoman 
yoke, so that they may take up arms to renew the 
holy war of 1821, and fight for faith, fatherland, and 
our inalienable rights. 

The war is holy and just, and no one who considers 
the weight of our burden and the rights of nations will 
utter a word in defence of our barbarous oppressors, or 
advocate the cause of the Crescent, which is planted on 
the summit of our sacred church. 

Up then, brethren; rush to battle; throw off the 
bated yoke of our tyrants ; and with us loudly proclaim 
to God and the world that we do battle for our father- 
land, and that the Most High is our shield of defence. 
JOHANN COSOVAKIS, DEMETER KOKAS, 
COSTI KOSMA, BAS NAKOS, 

NTULAS BASOS, COLIOS MAVROMATI, 

K. C. STCMA, DEMETER SCALTRIOJAXNI. 

GEORG CALZICGAMI, C. MEREKAS, 
K. KATZILAS, KONST. 

ZliGAKIDES, 

THE OATH. 

I swear by the Holy Gospels, by the Holy Trinity, 
and by Him crucified, that I take up arms which shall 
not be cast aside until our oppressors are driven from 
the homes of our fathers, and my fatherland is free. I 
also swear by an Almighty God to be faithful to my 
flag; and, if necessary, to shed the last drop of my 
blood in defence of my comrades.' 

It is believed that these high-sounding docu- 
ments must have emanated from a more influential 
source than an insignificant village, whose name 
hardly finds mention in any maps. The ferment 
which arose was not confined to the two provinces 
above named, but extended also into Macedonia, 
Rumelia, and Albania ; the Turks were forced to 
abandon the towns of Arta and Janina (loannina), 
in which the Greek element was too strong for 
them. One Spiridion Karaiskaki, lieutenant in 
the Greek army, w^as said to be at the head of the 
insurgents ; and although the government, conse- 
quent on the liints and threats of the British and 
French ministers, ordered him to return to Athens, 
many circumstances tended to shew that the court 
were with, rather than against, the insurgents. The 
Russian emissaries had everywhere declared, in 
the country districts, that the Western Powers 
were favourable to them ; that all the Christian 
states were longing for the downfall of the Ottoman 
race ; and that an insurrection among the Greek 
subjects of the sultan would be regarded by the 
potentates as a righteous act in a righteous cause. 



Many months elapsed before the Greeks discovered 
how grossly they had been deceived in this matter. 

When once the rising had commenced, it 
proceeded rapidly. Revolutionary committees, so 
called, went from village to village, urging the 
inhabitants to rebel against the Turkish authorities. 
Guns were distributed gratuitously to all who 
expressed their willingness to join the insurgents. 
In many cases the Turkish inhabitants of the 
towns, terrified by what was passing, fled for 
refuge into the interior provinces ; and one or two 
of the pachas shut themselves up in strong 
fortresses. Prince Gortchakoff was at that time 
preparing to cross the Danube ; and the Turkish 
authorities obtained possession of a secret letter, 
by which two or three leaders of the Greek insur- 
gents were shewn to be in direct communication 
with the prince. So little did the king and court 
care to repress this movement, that criminals let 
loose from Athens and Chalcis, vagabonds from all 
the towns, and hot-headed young students, set off 
for the frontier to join the rebels, headed by 
Generals Grivas and Tzavella ; they Avere well 
supplied Avith money, which, it was afterwards 
known, came from Russia ; and a secret council 
sat at Athens, to direct the movements. When 
these proceedings became known to Turkey and 
her Allies, the necessity for prompt interference 
was at once seen ; a small English and Turkish 
flotilla sailed from Constantinople to the Gulf of 
Volo, to watch the movements in Thessaly ; while 
Admiral Dundas sent a few ships to the Gulf of 
Arta, to protect Prevesa and other parts of the 
coast of Epirus. The two gulfs here named mark, 
respectively, the cast and west termini of the 
boundary-line between the two kingdoms. Ships, 
however, could render little aid to the towns and 
villages in the interior. The insurgents obtained 
possession of the defile of Pente Pegadia, on the 
only road from Janina to Arta ; and hence the 
Turkish pacha of the former place experienced 
much difficulty in sending any reinforcements to 
Arta, which was one of the foci of the insurrection. 
In the port of Arta itself, a Greek gun-boat sank 
the Turkish guard-ship, before the English vessels 
arrived. An action took place near Arta, on 
23d February, in which the insurgents defeated 
the Turks ; and hence the latter, although retain- 
ing the citadel of Arta, lost possession of the 
town, 

A double aspect was displayed throughout these 
strange transactions. The ardent, and perhaps 
sincere, insurgents were really Hellenists, desirous 
of forming a nationality which should include all 
the Greeks ; while Russia was watching, ready to 
foster the Hellenism up to a certain point, and 
then convert it into a species of Russianism. Mr 
Wyse informed the Earl of Clarendon, in one of 
his dispatches, that of the seven cabinet ministers 
at Athens, Pa'icos, Vlachos, and Soutzo were 
vehement supporters of Russia ; while Kriezis, 
Ambrosiades, and Pellika would follow where the 
others might lead ; leaving only one, M. Privilegio, 



GREEK ATTACKS ON THE TURKISH BORDER : 3854. 



149 



minister of finance, almost powerless as an advo- 
cate of more national views. It hence became 
impossible for Mr Wyse, and the ministers of 
other powers in alliance with Turkey, to credit 
the assertions of Pai'cos, that the Greek court was 
not responsible for the insurrection. Officials of 
almost all ranks left Athens for the frontier, week 
after week some with the intention of forming a 
provisional government in the revolted provinces; 
for there seems to have been a project to erect into 
separate states the provinces which they might 
conquer, and afterwards vote their annexation to 
the kingdom of Greece, so as to avoid implicating 
the Greek government openly in the insurrection. 

The proceedings in Epirus were rendered doubly 
deplorable by the conduct of Arnaout soldiers, 
mountaineers of Albania, employed by the pachas 
to repel the insurgents ; these men, having offered 
to serve one month without pay, made no hesita- 
tion in avowing that plunder was their principal 
object ; and, as a consequence, the peaceful villages 
became completely devastated, and the inhabitants 
forced to seek safety in flight. Another wretched 
consequence of the anarchy was, that vagabond 
adventurers from various countries bent their 
steps towards Epirus, and engaged in a species of 
brigandage, under colour of assisting the Greeks 
in establishing their independence ; and thus the 
poor villagers suffered from all parties. 

Athens, as spring advanced, was in a state of 
wild excitement. ' All the streets,' said an eye- 
witness, 'are full of groups discussing the actual 
state of affairs, indulging in the wildest schemes 
and hopes, and using their loud voices as proofs 
of their assertions. The coffee-houses and gin- 
shops resound in the evening with the Parisienne 
and the Marseillaise, both of which have been 
quite naturalised in Greece, and become national 
melodies, with suitable words adapted to them. 
Outside of the town, some forty or fifty patriots are 
drilling under the superintendence of a sergeant; 
while in the town, the soldiers as well as the sailors 
of the two men-of-war cutters, which would be 
more appropriately called foys-of-war, are treated 
with marked regard. Even the rising generation 
seems to be roused. The excitement has taken 
with them a purely artistic turn, and shews itself 
in sundry chalk-portraits of the Emperor Nicholas 
on the walls.' 

Matters had now arrived at a pitch too serious 
for the Turkish government to remain longer quiet. 
Until the month of March, the Turkish charge 
d' affaires, Nesset Bey, remained at Athens, complain- 
ing and protesting in vain against the proceedings 
of the Greek government. He demanded, on the 
part of his court, the prosecution of those who had 
crossed the frontier, should they ever return within 
it ; and the exercise of control over one or two 
newspapers, which systematically promulgated the 
most violent doctrines respecting the extermination 
of the Osmanlis and their religion. The king 
refused his assent ; the Porte withdrew its repre- 
sentative from Athens about the end of March ; 



the charge d'affaires of Greece was withdrawn 
from Constantinople ; and diplomatic relations 
ceased between the two countries. One con- 
sequence of this series of events was most 
disastrous. Turkey contains a vast number of 
Greeks, and the Porte ordered the departure of 
such of their number as were subjects of the king 
of Greece. Constantinople itself contained at that 
time 25,000 or 30,000 of such Greeks, who had 
sore reason to deplore the weak folly of their 
sovereign. They were all ordered to quit Turkey 
within a specified time. A resident at Constanti- 
nople, in April, said that every steamer which left 
that city for the Archipelago was crowded with 
human beings, so thickly wedged together that to 
walk the decks was impossible. Most of these 
wretched creatures had been reduced to the depths 
of poverty; and when thrown ashore, friendless 
and destitute, in Greece, three-fourths of the men 
went to swell the ranks of the Thessalian insur- 
gents, or took to their old trade of piracy in the 
./Egean. Numbers of the shops in Pera were shut 
up by the expulsion of their owners. More than 
thirty medical men, the most skilful in the capital, 
were forced to leave it. Hotel-keepers, dragomans, 
domestic servants, both male and female, all were 
comprised in this sweeping edict. Of the Greeks 
in Constantinople, but a small number possessed 
the means of transporting themselves to Athens 
and seeking another occupation. They sold every- 
thing to obtain the passage-money for their families ; 
and when disgorged by the steamers on the shores 
of Greece, they became as destitute as if thrown on 
the beach of a desert island. The upper classes of 
Greeks in Constantinople were comparatively less 
affected, for most of the Greek commercial firms 
had partners who were under French or Austrian 
protection, and who were still enabled to carry on 
the business of the firms. To the poor, the extra- 
dition was most desolating. The Allies of the 
Turkish government regretted the mode in which 
this expulsion, possibly necessary in a time of 
hostilities, was managed ; for, while burning hatred 
was infused into the minds of the Hellenists thus 
expelled, the much larger number of Greek rayahs 
(Greek subjects of the Porte) left behind were in 
no degree rendered more favourably disposed than 
before to their Turkish masters. 

The rupture with Turkey seems to have impelled 
the Greek court on its headlong course. The 
connivance of the government became no longer 
merely overt. The queen not only permitted many 
of her domestics to join the insurgents, but pro- 
mised them fifty drachmas per month each during 
their absence. At an interview which the English 
and French ministers demanded with the royal 
couple, the king expressed great irritation at the 
interference of the Western Powers in the matter. 
' The queen,' Mr Wyse remarked, in his dispatch 
relating to the interview, 'was if possible more 
excited. She indulged in the strongest invec- 
tives Whenever the king appeared to 

waver, her majesty interfered, and with powers of 



150 



HOSTILITIES ON THE TURKISH FRONTIERS. 



persuasion which could not be resisted, and which 
shewed against what influences he had to contend, 
overbore every chance of return to calmer and 
r conclusions.' 

The insurgents were at no time formidably 
numerous ; their power consisting rather in their 
mischievous audacity. Hence the warfare that 
ensued was scarcely of a character to admit of 
definite description. A few hundred insurgents 
would attack, or be attacked by, a few hundred 
Turks, with results varying according to the 
circumstances of each case, but in every instance 
attended by a vast amount of excitement, rumour, 
and exaggeration. A Turkish force of 1700 men, 
sent in April direct from Constantinople to Arta, 
under Fuad EfFendi, was really formidable as 
against the insurgents. Fuad defeated them com- 
pletely at the town of Peta, not far from Arta, and 
succeeded in capturing a mass of correspondence 
which proved the complicity of the Greek govern- 
ment in the insurrection. It also proved that 
there was disunion among the leaders ; that the 
misguided soldiers suffered much privation and 
exhibited much discontent; and, moreover, that 
the Greeks of Epirus and Thessaly shewed far less 
sympathy with the emissaries from Athens than 
the latter had expected. The principal names 
among the leaders of the insurgents at that time 
were Theodor Grivas, Karaiskaki, Tzavella, Zaho 
Milio, Ralli, Vaja, Ranges, Zerva, Kucsonika, 
Papa Costa, Panuria, Hagi Petro, Kalamaras, 
Zachas, and Kataracha ; such a list, with a prefix 
of 'General' to many of the names, has an im- 
posing appearance ; but each leader had a few 
hundred men only under his command ; and 
this command was in many instances little 
more than that which a brigand holds over his 
followers. 

After the defeat at Peta, many of the insurgents 
departed to their own homes in a sort of panic ; 
and it required all the address of their leaders 
by promises of arms, ammunition, money, and 
military instructors to induce them to re-form. 
At the eastern scene of operations, in Thessaly, 
the insurgents met with a little more success. 
On the llth of May, at Kalabaka in that 
province, the Greeks under Petros defeated a 
body of Turks commanded by Selim Bey; the 
affair, though small in magnitude, afforded oppor- 
tunity for a Greek dispatch, written in an 
inflated style, imitative of those by the Russian 
generals. The Turkish troops, in respect to 
soldiers' pay and commissariat supplies, were 
in a neglected state at the time in Thessaly; 
and were ill fitted to meet an enemy in the field, 
ill supplied as that enemy may also have been. 
The consequences to the unfortunate Thessalians 
were fearful. It was difficult to decide who com- 
mitted most ravages the Greeks in the insurgent 
ranks, or the Albanians who acted with the Turks. 
Plunder, murder, violation, burning, raged all 
around; no fewer than 700,000 sheep belonging 
not only to Thessalians, but to the neighbouring 



mountaineers of Epirus and Macedonia were 
carried off by the insurgents. This, be it remem- 
bered, was effected by men who professed to have 
come to liberate their brother Hellenists from the 
Turkish yoke. 

The Greek court, infatuated by Russia, pro- 
ceeded further and further in aid of the insurgents ; 
until at length the English and French govern- 
ments deemed strong measures necessary. Even 
so early as the first week in April, the Earl of 
Clarendon gave a significant warning to M. Tricoupi, 
Greek minister at the court of St James's, telling 
him ' that the court and government of Greece 
were deliberately aiding the cause of the emperor 
of Russia, with whom England and France are 
at war, and injuring the sultan, whose cause 
England and France are supporting; and that 
these being acts of direct hostility against two 
of the protecting powers of Greece, the king 
and queen of Greece must be prepared for the 
consequences.' * 

The instrumentality of Russian agents, in 
fostering the insurrectionary movement, became 
more evident than ever. Mr TVyse, writing to the 
home government on the 27th of April, said that 
King Otho had promised to take part openly in 
the movement, only on certain contingencies ; 
one of which presented itself in a wrangle for 
precedence among the chieftains. ' Six hundred 
thousand drachmas are understood to be reserved 
in the hands of M. George Stanoros, director of 
the National Bank, to meet the contingency. It is 
believed, on the old Byzantine plan, that when the 
disappointed chiefs, with their hungry followers, 
shall reappear, they can be bribed into tranquillity 
by the expedient. Prince John Soutzo, son of the 
Hospodar Michel Soutzo, domiciled here, and 
Secretary of Legation at St Petersburg, has just 
arrived from that capital, charged, it is said, with 
the same counsel from the emperor, and provided 
with means to cany it out. Far from the insur- 
rection having ended, he asserts that it has only 
begun, and that for two years at least, despite of 
any coercion from the Allied powers (whose threats 
and means to enforce them he regards with con- 
tempt), the Greek government can carry on a 
most successful war in the interior of the Turkish 
Empire. A subordinate portion of the plan is to 
represent Prussia and Austria as favouring, and 
England and France as likely to quarrel from the 
incompatibility of their respective interests. In 
this mission he works with a zeal and unscru- 
pulosity not unworthy of his Greek and Russian 
masters.' | 

In the middle of May, the English and French 
governments determined to send a combined mili- 
tary force to Greece, a small number of English, 
with a larger number of French : the whole to 
amount to 6000 or 7000, and to be placed under 
the French General Forey. This force was to 
proceed to the Piraeus, the port of Athens, to take 

* Parliamentary Papers on Greco-Turkish Affairs, p. 149. 



GREEK ATTACKS ON THE TURKISH BORDER : 1854. 



151 



possession of that port, and there to sojourn until 
the effect of the measure on the weak and infa- 
tuated king should have become apparent. In 
accordance with this determination, a few thousand 
troops and a small flotilla proceeded to Greece, 
and took up the proposed position in the vicinity 
of the capital. The effect was immediate. The 
king awoke from his dream of ambition. The 
great czar was far away, unable to send troops and 
ships to his aid ; Russian intrigues and Russian 
money were no match for the immediate presence 
of the "Western Powers ; and the king, despite the 
passionate tears and disappointment of his consort, 
promised to discountenance the insurgents, and 
to aid in restoring peace on the Turkish border. 
Shortly before this transaction, three Russian ships 
at Trieste were bought by the insurgents, and paid 
for by means of money from the National Bank 
at Athens ; these had to be given up, immediately 
on the arrival of the expeditionary force. One 
salutary step taken by the king, consequent on 
the pressure applied to him, was to change his 
ministry, appointing another under Mavrocordato, 
empowered to recall the insurgents, to change the 
members of the royal household, and to dismiss 
the functionaries who had been implicated in the 
insurrection. The king, however, hated the work 
which he was thus compelled to perform ; and 
viewed with dislike the ministers whose appoint- 
ment was thus forced upon him. He felt the 
bitterness of knowing that the enthusiasts, who 
had expected to found a new Byzantine empire, 
had ended their exploits by laying waste and 
plundering the Christian provinces of Turkey ; 
reducing thousands of Greek families to the verge 
of starvation, without seriously damaging the 
Ottoman authority ; while those who objected to 
the insurrection, but wanted spirit and resolution 
to oppose it openly, now experienced the morti- 
fication of seeing their country coerced into good 
sense by foreign powers. 

The new ministry issued a decree of amnesty 
for all the officers who had joined the insurgents, 
provided they returned within a month. Three 
commissioners Colonel Packmore, on the part of 
Greece, and Mr Merlin and M. Guerin, belonging 



to the respective consulates, on the parts of England 
and France were despatched to Thessaly, to make 
this decree as widely known as possible, and to 
support it by their personal and official influence. 
The insurgent chiefs quickly accepted the offer, 
seeing the uselessness of further attempts in their 
so-called patriotism. Their submission was the 
more readily obtained, on account of two defeats 
which the insurgents had suffered from the Turks 
one about the end of May, at Radovitzi, a few hours' 
march distant from Arta ; the other in the middle 
of June, at Kalabaka, in Thessaly. The last-named 
contest was of serious import ; for Kalabaka had 
been regarded as the stronghold of the insurgents, 
who, by holding that place, interrupted the direct 
communication between Thessaly and Epirus, and 
spread a panic through the surrounding districts. 
Fuad Effendi, the general who had before given 
the insurgents a check in Epirus, crossed the Pindus 
range from Janina to Thessaly, and thoroughly 
routed the insurgents at Kalabaka. 

No particular date can be assigned for the 
termination of this Greek, or rather Russo-Greek, 
attack on the southern frontier of Turkey. From 
the day on which the Anglo-French troops landed 
in the vicinity of Athens, May 26th, the struggle 
was virtually at an end. The months of June 
and July witnessed the gradual withdrawal of the 
insurgents from the Turkish territory, and the 
gradual restoration of peace to the distracted and 
impoverished provinces of Epirus and Thessaly. 
The last scenes of this episode were nearly coin- 
cident, in time, with the raising of the siege of 
Silistria ; with the evacuation by the Russians of 
the Danubian Principalities ; with the transference 
of the English and French armies from Scutari 
and Constantinople to Varna ; with the assembling 
of the Allied fleets at Kavarna and Baltschik ; with 
the hostile manoeuvres of the Russian and Turkish 
forces in the region around Gumri, Bayazid, and 
Kars ; with the suppression of the Russo-Monte- 
negrin attacks on the western frontier of Turkey ; 
and with the vain attempts of the diplomatists at 
Vienna to bring about such a peace as would 
render unnecessary an expedition of the Allies to 
the Crimea. 




CHAPTER VI. 

NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH IN 1854. 




MPELLED as the Western Powers 
were, by every principle of honour 
and international justice, to make a 
bold stand against the pernicious 
' ambition of Russia, the warlike ope- 
rations necessarily spread over a wide 
area. No longer could the struggle be 
1 regarded as a mere means of protection 
for the sultan's dominions. It is one 
among the many miseries of war, that towns 
and provinces, far distant from those wherein 
the contest began, are made to suffer in a cause 
which the inhabitants perhaps regard with little 
sympathy. The hardy Philanders of the north 
know little and care less for Turks or Crimeans ; 
yet were their homes and sea-side chattels certain 
to be placed in peril by the results of a quarrel 
which in the first instance affected the south 
of Europe only. It has already been pointed out 
(p. 76) that, so long as Russia remains at peace 
with all the continental states except France and 
Turkey, there are only four regions in which she 
can be practically assailed by the Western Powers. 
These are indicated, respectively, by the Black 
Sea, the Baltic, the White Sea, and the extreme 
northern part of the Pacific around Kamtchatka. 
How far the warlike proceedings in the southern 
or Black Sea regions, in 1854, were aided by any 
achievements of the Allied Powers further north, 
it is now necessary to consider. 



RUSSIAN POWER IN THE BALTIC 
PROVINCES. 

The Baltic, by far the most important sea in the 
north of Europe, is touched by a larger number 
of states than the Black Sea; on whose shores 
Russia and Turkey alone hold dominion unless, 
indeed, the Caucasian tribes can be said to possess 
any of the coast-line. The Baltic provinces belong 
some to Russia, some to Prussia, others to 
Sweden, others again to Denmark, while two of 
the minor German states touch this sea at the 
south-west corner. Taken as a whole, the Baltic 
is strangely shaped, affording many more nooks 
and corners, headlands, deep bays, narrow straits, 



isles and islets, than the Black Sea ; and its 
contiguity to England renders its geographical 
characteristics especially interesting to us in time 
of war. 

A map of Northern Europe will shew that the 
North Sea or German Ocean is bounded on the 
west by England, Scotland, and the Shetlands ; 
and on the east, by Holland, Denmark, and 
Norway. This sea, from Shetland in the north, 
to Ostend in the south, extends about 700 miles ; 
while its Avidth in the central portion, between 
England and Denmark, may average about 400 
miles. In carrying the eye along the east 
boundary of this sea, a broad opening will be 
seen, corresponding in latitude with the part of 
Scotland between Aberdeen and the north 
boundary of the Moray Firth ; this opening, the 
Skager Rack, is the mouth of the Baltic the only 
place at which the waters of this sea, and of 
the rivers Neva, Diina, Niemen, Vistula, Oder, 
vfec., can escape to the ocean. It follows, from 
this position, that the Baltic is nearer to Scotland 
than to England about 140 miles nearer to Leith 
than to London, on the lines of route taken by 
ships. The Skager Rack is a broad strait, ex- 
tending nearly east and west for about 150 miles. 
At its inner or eastern end begins another strait, 
called the Kattegat, of about equal length, but 
extending north and south. The Skager Rack is 
bounded on the north by Nonvay, and on the 
south by Denmark ; while the Kattegat has 
Sweden on the east, and Denmark on the west. 
The Kattegat communicates on the south with 
the Baltic by three narrow straits the Sound, 
the Great Belt, and the Little Belt. The ' Sound 
dues,' frequently a subject of diplomacy and dis- 
content, are an impost collected by Denmark 
upon all ships engaged in the Baltic trade, on 
their passage past Elsineur or Helsingor in the 
Sound. The Sound, between Sweden and the 
Danish island of Zealand, is the chief passage for 
ships ; although use can also be made of the 
Great Belt, between Zealand aad Funen ; and of 
the Little Belt, between Funen and Schlesvig. 

Once within the intricate entrance to the Baltic, 
the waters extend nearly in a north-east direction, 
but not without many deviations. At the northern 
end is the Gulf of Bothnia ; on the east, those of 



RUSSIAN POWER IN THE BALTIC PROVINCES : 1854. 



153 



Finland and Livonia. In one direction, from 
Tornea to Stettin, a line of 900 miles can be 
drawn, nearly north and south, with scarcely any 
interruption from land. The Gulf of Bothnia runs 
400 miles north of the main body of the Baltic, 
with a width varying from 30 to 100 miles ; while 
the Gulf of Finland stretches 280 miles eastward, 
with a width varying from 40 to 70 miles. The 
Gulf of Livonia is much smaller than either of 
the others. All the rain that falls on one-fifth of 
the area of Europe flows into the Baltic through 
the medium of numerous rivers, five of which 
have just been named. Nevertheless, the Baltic 
is among the shalloAvest of large seas, owing in 
part to the quantity of mud brought down by the 
numerous rivers ; this mud cannot find an outlet 
into the German Ocean, and hence the Baltic is 
yearly becoming more and more silted up. The 
navigation by a large fleet is difficult and danger- 
ous, owing to this as well as to other causes. If, 
practically rather than geographically, we consider 
Copenhagen to mark the beginning, and St 
Petersburg the end of the Baltic, the sei-pentine 
ship-route from the one to the other would be 
about 800 miles in length. 

This maritime region, considered in relation 
to the political ownership of its coasts, and to the 
chief ports enriched by its trade, presents the 
following features : All the north-western portion 
of coast belongs to Sweden and Norway, marked 
by the tortuous line of the Skager Rack, the 
Kattegat, the Sound, the west side of the main 
portion of the Baltic, and the west side of the Gulf 
of Bothnia. Christiansand, Gothenborg, Lands- 
krona, Malmo, Christianstad, Karlskrona, Stock- 
holm, Umea these are the chief towns or ports 
along this line of coast ; while Gothland and Oland 
are the chief of the Swedish islands. Further east 
and south-east, the mighty power of Russia displays 
itself; the east shore of the Gulf of Bothnia, both 
shores of the Gulf of Finland, the whole of the 
Gulf of Livonia, the coasts of Esthonia, Livonia, 
and Courland all belong to Russia ; as do the 
Aland Islands, at the mouth of the Gulf of 
Bothnia ; Cronstadt Island, near St Petersburg ; 
Osel and Dago, at the mouth of the Gulf of Livonia. 
On this long and irregular line of coast are estab- 
lished the towns and ports of Tornea, Uleaborg, 
Vasa, Abo, Helsingfdrs, Viborg, St Petersburg, 
Peterhof, Revel, Port Baltic, and Riga ; while on 
islands near the coast, are the formidable fortresses 
of Cronstadt, Sveaborg, and Bomarsund. On the 
south and east, the waters of the Baltic wash some 
of the Prussian and German provinces, with the 
ports of Memel, Elbing, Dantzig, Stralsund, 
Wismar, Liibeck ; and on the west, the Danish 
town of Kiel. 

Little is needed, besides the mere naming of these 
towns, to suggest an idea of the vast importance of 
the Baltic, both politically and commercially ; and 
of the necessity, during war with Russia, of main- 
taining a strict blockade of such of the ports as* 
belong to that power. 



The course of the narrative in Chapter I., aided 
by the coloured map, will have shewn that Russian 
domination on the shores of the Baltic is compara- 
tively of modern growth. Peter the Great's first 
port was Archangel. How he and his successors 
struggled until they obtained ports in the Black 
Sea, has been narrated ; but this was not all. The 

! Muscovites desired to obtain access to the Baltic, 
to share in the commerce and influence of that 
region : a reasonable wish, if carried into effect 
by no unfair means. Russia had, or professed to 
have, a slight claim to Livonia, a province on the 
eastern side of the gulf of the same name ; the 
claim was indeed.loosely founded, but it served as 
an incentive to Peter's ambition. There were also 
two provinces, Ingria and Carelia, which Sweden 
had won from the Muscovites in former wars, and 
which Peter yearned to regain. In the contest 
which followed, the great generalship of Charles 
XII. prevented Peter from reaping many advan- 
tages ; but still Russia succeeded in planting a 
foot on the shores of the Baltic; and the city of 

| St Petersburg, built near the confluence of the 
Neva with the sea, gradually rose into distinction 
as the representative of Russian dominion in those 
parts. 

The great event for Russia, having regard to her 
power in the north, was the acquisition of Finland. 
At various times during the eighteenth century, 
strips of country bordering on the Baltic came 
under the sway of the czars ; but it was reserved 
for the nineteenth century to witness the rise of 
Muscovite rule on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia. 
The Fins inhabited the northern parts of Europe 
earlier, as is supposed, than the Slavonians of 
Russia, or the Scandinavians of Sweden and 
Norway. There is no record of a king of Finland 
having ever existed ; the Fins were a wandering 
rude race, who fell under the rule of their more 
organised neighbours. Hence the Muscovites 
subjected the Fins as far as the White Sea and 
the Frozen Ocean ; the Norwegians obtained 
control in Finmark ; while the Swedes took 
possession of the Finnish provinces adjacent to the 
Baltic. Six hundred years have now elapsed 
since Lapmark, Finmark, and Finland, were thus 
conquered by the three states just named. When 
the Treaty of Tilsit was signed between Alexander 
and Napoleon, in 1807, the two emperors treated 
the map of Europe as a toy, which they might 
cut up and partition at pleasure. Constantinople 
was saved from the clutches of Alexander, only 
because Napoleon deemed the treasure too precious 
to be thus appropriated. Poland, Prussia, and the 
several states of Germany, all came under the 
remodelling influence of the two emperors. A 
secret article foreshadowed the destruction of the 
Swedish monarchy, and the partition of that 
country between Russia and Denmark : Tinless 
Sweden should choose the alternative of joining 
France and Russia in a war against England. 

Hostilities became inevitable, as a consequence 
of this treaty. The English government, fearing 



154 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



that the Danish fleet was about to be employed 
with unfriendly intent, sent out an expedition 
with great speed; bombarded Copenhagen for 
three days ; destroyed a great part of the city, and 
forced a surrender of the Danish fleet (September 
7th). Whether England was justified or not in 
this proceeding, it afforded a pretext for Russia to 
declare war against her, and to demand that ah 1 
Swedish ports should be closed against English 
ships. Sweden resisted the applications of Russia, 
France, and Denmark to this end; and went so 
far as to conclude, on February 8, 1808, a new 
treaty with England. Denmark at once declared 
war in a formal way against Sweden ; but Alex- 
ander suddenly sent a powerful Russian force to 
take possession of Finland, without such a declara- 
tion, as if to anticipate any military or naval 
defence on the part of Sweden. It was a mode of 
obtaining a ' material guarantee,' analogous to that 
which his brother Nicholas adopted iu Moldavia 
and Wallachia forty-five years afterwards. The 
king of Sweden caused the Russian ambassador to 
be placed in confinement ; and the emperor, who 
simply wanted some pretext for a decision long 
before made, thereupon declared that such an 
insult justified him in retaining possession of 
Finland, ' and uniting it for ever to his empire.' 
Hostilities ensued. The Swedes obtained a few 
partial successes at Gothland, Aland, Vasa, and 
Roggerwick ; but suffered defeats of more import- 
ance at Ormais and Lokalar. Russia, during this 
campaign, adopted a course which has frequently 
been followed by the czars that of watching and 
fomenting discord in a neighbour's country ; know- 
ing that there were malcontents in Finland, the 
Russian generals, as if to encourage them, issued 
orders not to receive any letters or any flags of 
truce which were sent in the king's name, but 
only such as proceeded from the Swedish generals. 
In November, a truce for the winter was signed 
by the two antagonist commanders, Kamenskoi 
and Adlercreuz. In June of the next year, 1809, 
a revolution deposed Gustavus IV., and placed 
Charles XIII. on the throne of Sweden. Alex- 
ander, on being applied to, refused to treat for 
peace with a government which he chose to 
consider in an insecure state ; hostilities recom- 
menced, and lasted until September, during which 
the Swedes suffered defeat in various parts of 
Finland. The Treaty of Fredrikshamn, signed on 
the 17th of September 1809, put an end to the 
contest, and at the same time deprived Sweden of 
some of her most fertile, valuable, and populous 
provinces. A glance at the coloured map will 
shew how serious this loss must have been to 
Sweden ; the provinces in question occupying 
nearly the whole peninsula, washed on two sides 
by the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland ; 
and when it is considered that these provinces 
were entered and occupied before any declaration 
of war between the two states, the grasping spirit 
which prompted the movement becomes sufficiently 
manifest. 



After the incorporation of Finland with the 
Russian Empire, the czar adopted the plan of 
furthering special Finnish interests and Finnish 
nationality, in opposition to the Swedish element, 
as a means of weakening the hold of Sweden 
on the affections of the people. Severity against 
the Swedes, clemency towards the Fins ; rigorous 
exclusion of Swedish books, with a comparatively 
liberal encouragement of Finnish literature these 
were the tactics adopted by Alexander. In the 
years which elapsed between the Peace of 
Fredrikshamn and the war of 1853, the Fin- 
landers gradually formed themselves, politically 
speaking, into three parties. One group, small, 
but influential on account of social position, 
looked back with regret to the severance of the 
old Swedish ties : this was the Swedish party. 
Another group, comprising nearly all the public 
functionaries, dazzled by the splendour of Russia, 
felt, or affected to feel, proud of the annexation 
of their country to the czar's dominions : this was 
the Russian party. The third group, comprising 
the main body of the nation, although more 
favourably disposed towards Sweden than towards 
Russia, did not desire a return to their former 
condition as dependents on Sweden ; they would 
rather form, if it were practicable, a state governed 
by themselves, a nationality of Fins : this was the 
Finnish party. Another peculiarity in the relations 
between the several countries north of the Baltic 
needs to be noticed. Norway, although joined 
politically to Sweden since 1814, is jealous of any 
superiority in the latter power ; Norway is not a 
province of Sweden, but both are kingdoms under 
one king ; and the Norwegians would object to the 
acquisition by Sweden of Finland, because it would 
disturb the balance between the two countries, 
rendering Swedish power too preponderant over 
Norwegian. Norway has its own constitution, its 
own parliament or storthing ; and even so late as 
1854, its legislature voted the abolition of the 
office of stadtholder, because such an office seemed 
to imply that Norway was a province of Sweden, 
instead of being an independent country, attached 
to Sweden only by the personal union in the 
crown. When the union took place in 1814, 
Finland did not belong to Sweden ; and the 
Norwegians have ever since regarded with uneasi- 
ness any prospective strengthening of Sweden that 
might invest her with too great a predominance 
over Norway. 

These Swedish peculiarities have had their due 
effect. When England and France declared war 
against Russia in the spring of 1854, and planned 
a Baltic campaign, it was natural to inquire what 
part Sweden would take in the contest. Prussia 
and Denmark, it was speedily evident, would 
remain neutral as long as possible ; but Sweden, 
remembering how Russia had deprived her of so 
valuable a portion of her dominions, might pos- 
sibly have desired to aid in humbling her proud 
neighbour. On the other hand, the Swedish 
party in Finland, as we have just seen, is limited 



FLEETS DESPATCHED BY THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



155 



in number ; the Norwegians would afford no 
countenance to the spread of Swedish power, 
unless it could be regarded as Norwegian power 
also ; while the king and the court had little 
personal inclination for a contest with the great 
czar. The crown-prince, it is true, was with the 
Allies in sentiment; while the Swedish people 
felt a sympathy with the liberal ideas of the 
West, rather than with the degrading serfdom of 
the East ; but this was not enough to induce 
the Swedes to draw the sword. If Sweden had 
joined the Allies, and the Allies had failed in 
bringing Russia to moderate terms, the full 
vengeance of the czar might afterwards have 
fallen on his Scandinavian neighbour. In April 
1854, when the question of peace or war was in 
every Swede's mouth, a Stockholm newspaper, 
the Aftonblad (' Evening Sheet'), replying to some 
timid arguments urged by another journal, the 
Svenska Tidning (' Swedish News '), maintained 
that Sweden might reasonably and advantageously 
side with the Western Powers against Russia, and 
gave a few particulars concerning the state of the 
Swedish army at that time. Sweden, without 
including Norway, had upon the war-footing 85,000 
infantry, 5564 cavalry, and 4416 artillery making 
a total of 94,980 men ; to which was added 8000 
militia in Gothland, and 13,000 reserves raising 
the total to about 116,000. 

The Swedish government, however, remained 
neutral ; and the year 1854 was destined to 
witness the sailing of a formidable English and 
French armament to the Baltic, with hostile 
intent against Russia, but on terms of amity or 
at least neutrality with three other Baltic powers, 
Sweden, Denmark, and Prussia. 



FLEETS DESPATCHED BY THE WESTERN 
POWERS. 

The fleets of 1854 differed from any the world 
had yet seen, in the vast employment of steam- 
power. The mighty agency which the genius 
of Watt had brought to so much perfection, was 
applied to the commercial marine before the 
governments of Europe thought proper to bring 
it into requisition for ships-of-war. 

The interesting, though barely successful, expe- 
riments with small boats aided by steam-power, 
by the Comte d'Auxeron in 1774 on the Seine, 
by Perier in 1775 on the same river, and by 
the Marquis de Jouffroy in 1781 on the Saone ; 
the humble attempt at steam-navigation on the 
Delaware by Fitch, in 1783, with paddles instead 
of paddle-wheels ; the experiment of Rumsey on 
the Potomac, in 1787, by forcing a stream of water 
in at the bows and out at the stern of the vessel ; 
the miniature steam- voyage, ' with one paddle in 
the middle of the boat, in Dalswinton Lake by 
Patrick Miller in 1788 ; the duck-feet paddle 
steam-boat tried by Earl Stanhope in 1795 ; 
Symington's steam-tug on the Forth and Clyde 



Canal in 1802 ; Fulton's small steamer on the 
Seine in 1803 ; Evans's steam-dredger, tried on 
the American rivers in 1804 all served as pre- 
parations for the commercial era in the history 
of steam-navigation. This commercial era may be 
said to have commenced when, in 1807, Fulton 
conveyed passengers 150 miles on the Hudson, 
from New York to Albany. Then ensued Stevens's 
voyage from New York to the Delaware in 1807, 
the first steam- voyage on the open sea ; the achieve- 
ment of Henry Bell's little Comet steamer, which 
plied between Glasgow and Helensburgh in 1812 ; 
the plying of the first steam-boat on the Thames in 
1813 ; the gradual establishment of river-steamers 
on the Dee, Tay, Trent, Humber, Mersey, Avon, 
Severn, Orwell, Forth, Blackwater, and other 
streams ; the extension of this wonderful maritime 
improvement to nearly all the principal countries 
in the world ; the commencement of the Irish 
Channel transit by the Rob Roy, in 1818, between 
Greenock and Belfast; the first trip of the Great 
Western across the Atlantic; the rapid extension 
of ocean-steaming ; the improvements consequent 
on the use of the screw-propeller these were the 
successive steps in the commercial history of 
steamers ; and it was not until a great advance 
had been made in the system, that governments 
ventured to apply steam-power to their men-of- 
war. 

The screw-propeller can be used as an auxiliary 
to sails ; it leaves the centre of a ship less encum- 
bered by machinery than paddle-wheels ; and for 
these, as well as other reasons, the screw has 
gradually acquired an ascendancy over the paddle 
in the English navy, except for small steamers. 
The steamers-of-war alone, besides the sailing- 
vessels, constitute a formidable fleet. On the 
1st of January 1854, just before the declaration 
of war, the Navy List gave a table of 301 sailing- 
ships in the royal navy, carrying 11,397 guns ; 
77 screw-steamers, of 26,534 aggregate horse-power, 
and carrying 3328 guns ; and 113 paddle-steamers, 
of 27,820 horse-power, and 518 guns. To these 
were to be added 14 sailing-ships and 21 steamers 
building, to carry respectively 1092 and 1038 guns. 
The grand total gave more than 520 ships-of-war, 
carrying not less than 17,000 guns about 33 guns 
each on an average.* The Navy List recorded, at 

* The distribution, In respect to sizes of ships, built and building, 
was as follows : 



120 
11G 
100 to 104 



Less than 10 



fhipi. 


12 

5 

7 

S 

26 
22 

6 

35 
41 

3 

23 
55 
49 



teamen. 

3 

4 



3 
17 

1 

1 

4 
1C 

1 

4 
10 
15 
19 



The paddle-steamers carried a relatively small number of guns, not 
above 5 each on an average being employed to a considerable 
extent as transports and dispatch-boats. 



150 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 






the same time, as the number of effective officers 
in the navy (excluding half- pay and retired 
officers), 35 "admirals, 41 vice-admirals, 207 rear- 
admirals <"'- captains, 1082 commanders, 1952 
lieutenants, 589 masters, 315 mates, besides sur- 
geons, chaplains, instructors, &c. The officers of 
marines numbered 802 effective in different grades. 
The manning for the actual fleet, according to the 
lludsret of 1854, comprised about 43,000 seamen 
;unl 1'iivs, and 8000 marines, besides a reserve body 
of marines in depot ; but this was afterwards 
considerably augmented. 

Shortly before the commencement of the Avar, 
the English gOA r ernment had instituted an inquiry 
into the customary mode of manning the royal 
navy, Avith a vieAV to the introduction of such 
improvements as might be practicable. Under the 
plan until then followed there were certainly many 
defects. Sailors were accustomed to be entered on 
the books of particular ships selected by them- 
selves, nominally for five years', but practically for 
three years' service except when on foreign ser- 
vice, \vhere the duty was sometimes of more than 
three years' duration. After the expiry of the 
period, the ship was ' paid off,' and the men dis- 
banded, notwithstanding the expense, time, and 
trouble bestowed in training them. Many of the 
men thus discharged neA r er returned to the British 
navy ; some entered foreign service ; some aban- 
doned the seafaring-life altogether. The remainder, 
returning to duty in the Queen's fleet, did so at 
periods dictated by their own inclination or con- 
venience, and not by any regard to the wants 
of the service. This desultory system, or rather 
Avant of system, became a cause of much embar- 
rassment and expense in conducting the ordinary 
duties of the naval service ; creating uncertainty 
as to the period at Avhich ships might be ex- 
pected to be ready for sea ; and involving danger 
in the event of any political necessity for the 
sudden equipment of a fleet. On the 26th of 
July 1852, the Admiralty appointed a committee 
to consider this subject. The committee consisting 
of Admiral Sir William Parker, Admiral Fau- 
shaAve, Captain Dundas, Captain Richards, and 
Captain Shepherd made a Report on the 14th 
of February 1853, in which the results of the 
inquiries were embodied.* Their inquiries ranged 
over eleven subjects the entry and training of 
boys and seamen, and the periods of service for 
Avhich they are engaged ; whether, and by Avhat 
means, the periods of service could be advanta- 
geously extended ; the practicability of permanently 
retaining the services of boys and seamen, as is 
the case Avith the royal marines, instead of dis- 
charging them after three years' service ; Avhether 
a period of service abroad might usefully be 
followed by a period of service at home, in the 
coast-guard, dock-yards, or home-ports; Avhether 
a reserve of seamen could be organised to remain 
in England ; Avhether the means exist of raising 

* Parliamentary Papers, 1803. \o. 173. 



a large body of seamen suddenly, if any exigency 
arose ; Avhether the rates of pay, prize-money, and 
bounty, might not advantageously be raised ; 
Avhether the treatment of petty-officers and seamen- 
gunners might not be improved ; Avhether any 
extension might be made in the aAvard of good- 
conduct badges and of pensions ; Avhether there 
could be an entry of seamen into the coast-guard 
and the dock-yards ; and Avhether the privileges of 
GreenAvich Hospital might be made more accept- 
able to the men. In short, the practical question 
was hoAv to induce seamen to enter, and to 
remain in the royal navy, in which the advantages 
to the sailor are less than in those of some foreign 
countries. On all these points the committee 
reported at considerable length, making a large 
number of suggestions for the future manning of 
the navy. The principal result arrived at Avas, 
that the navy should be permanent, like the army 
and the marines. Increased pay and advantages 
being necessary to induce seamen to consent to 
longer servic^, a larger outlay Avould be called for. 
The Admiralty, therefore, in approving the plan, 
applied to the Treasury in March 1853 for their 
sanction to this increased expenditure. This 
increase, for a certain specified number of officers 
and seamen, was estimated at about 140,000 per 
annum beyond the expenditure of pi-evious years. 
An Order in Council was issued on the 1st of April 
1853, giving effect to the greater part of the recom- 
mendations of the committee. One recommendation 
had been, that the chief-gunners, chief-boatswains, 
and chief-carpenters in the royal navy, on account 
of their responsible positions and faithful sen-ice, 
should be placed on the same footing as non-com- 
missioned officers in the army that is, should be 
eligible to the rank of commissioned officers for 
gallant conduct.* 

These new arrangements connected Avith the 
manning of the British navy, Avere being gradually 
carried into effect at the period of the commence- 
ment of the Russian war. 

* The following list, from the Order in Council above mentioned, 
shews how large is the number of gradations and designations under 
the rank of chief-gunner, chief-boatswain, and chief-carpenter, in the 
British navy : 

C7i ief Petty-officers. 

Master at Arms. Chief-quartermaster. 

Chief-gunner's Mate. Chief-carpenter's Mate. 

Chief-boatswain's Mate. Seamen's Schoolmaster. 

Chief-captain of the Forecastle. Ship's Steward. 
Admiral's Cockswain. Ship's Cook. 

1st Class Working Petty-officers. 



Ship's Corporal. 
Gunner's Mate. 
Boatswain's Mate. 
Captain's Cockswain. 
Captain of the Forecastle. 
Quartermaster. 
Cockswain of the Launch. 
Captain of the Main-top. 
Captain of the Fore-top. 

Id, Class Working Petty-officers. 



Captain of the After-guard. 

Captain of the Hold. 

Sailmakcr. 

Kopcmaker. 

Carpenter's Mate. 

Calker. 

Blacksmith. 

Leading Stoker. 



Cockswain of the Barge. 

Cockswain of the Pinnace. 

Captain of the Ma.-t. 

2d Captain of the Forecastle. 

2d Captain of the Main-top. 

Cockswain of the Cutter. 

Cooper. 

Armourer. 

Calker's Mate. 



Painter. 

Musician. 

Head Krooman. 

2cl Captain of the Fore-top. 

Yeoman of the Signals. 

2d Captain of the After-guard. 

Captain of the Mizzen-top. 

Sailmaker's Mate. 



FLEETS DESPATCHED BY THE WESTERN POWERS -.1854. 



157 



When the despatch of a formidable fleet to the 
Baltic Avas ordered, the command was given to 
Admiral Sir Charles Napier, whose long and 
brilliant services in various parts of the world had 
won for him a high reputation. Indeed, the delight 
with which the appointment was hailed was rather 
perilous to the veteran himself; since the dis- 
appointment would be the greater if circumstances 
should prevent him from achieving any great 
results. During a period of no less than fifty-four 
years, Napier had been battling either against 
human antagonists or against winds, and waves, 



and storms. As a volunteer in the Martin and the 
Renown; as a midshipman in the Greyhound ; as 
a lieutenant during a short period ; as a com- 
mander in the Pultusk and the Recruit ; as a captain 
in the Furieuse and the Euryalus the gallant 
officer had seen service in almost every part of the 
world, even before the peace of 1815. Fourteen 
years of peace left him without employment ; but 
in 1829 he commenced a new career ; he was for 
three years captain of the Galatea ; he then com- 
manded Don Pedro's fleet in the contest against 
Don Miguel concerning the crown of Portugal ; 




SIR CHARLES NAPIEK. From a Photograph by MayalL 



and next as commodore, he rendered brilliant 
service under Admiral Stopford off the coast of 
Syria. This last achievement won for him the 
honours of a K.C.B. and an aid-de-camp to the 



Seamen 

Leading Seamen. 
Yeoman of Store-rooms. 
Yeoman of Tiers. 
2d Captain of the Hold. 
Sick-berth Attendant. 
Shipwright. 
Sailmaker's Crew. 
Blacksmith's Male. 
Armourer's Crew. 
Stoker and Coal-trimmer. 
Carpenter's Crew. 
Cooper's Crew. 
Able Seamen. 
Bandsmen. 
Tailor. 
Butcher. 

The rank and the pay descend 
to ' Boy, 2d Class.' 



and Others. 
2d Head Krooman. 
Captain's Steward. 
Captain's Cook. 
Ward or Gunroom Steward. 
Ward or Gunroom Cook. 
Subordinate Officers' Steward. 
Subordinate Officers' Cook. 
Ship's Steward's Assistant. 
Ordinary Seamen. 
Cook's Mate. 
Barber. 
2d Class Ordinary Seamen and 

Kroomen. 
Boy, 1st Class. 
Boy, 2d Class. 

gradually, from ' Master at Arms ' 



Queen, and insignia from Russia and Prussia. In 
1846, Commodore Napier became rear-admiral, 
and in 1853, vice-admiral. 

A trifling incident, just before the departure of 
Sir Charles Napier for the Baltic, was a subject 
of much comment at the time, and a cause of 
mortification at a later period. On the 7th of 
March, the Reform Club gave a dinner to Sir 
Charles and to Her Majesty's ministers. During the 
customary health-driukings and speech-makings, 
Lord Palmerston proposed the health of the 
admiral. In replying, Sir Charles said : ' I 
suppose we are very nearly at war. I suppose 
that when I get to the Baltic, I shall have 
an opportunity of declaring war.' Sir James 
Graham, in a eulogistic speech concerning Sir 
Charles, used these words : ' My gallant friend 



158 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



says that when he gets into the Baltic he will 
declare war ; I, as First Lord of the Admiralty, 
give him my free consent to do so.' It must be 
remembered that war had not at that time been 
declared by England and France against Russia. 
The matter was noticed in parliament, as involving 
an anachronism, if nothing worse ; and the minister 
was forced to take shelter under the privileges of 
an ' after-dinner speech.' The indiscreet oratory 
of the evening was bitterly remembered at a later 
period, when wrangling had succeeded to amity 
between the two persons chiefly concerned. 

During the winter of 1853-4, when it became 
evident that England and France would be 
involved in war with the czar, all the British 
naval arsenals were placed in a state of activity, 
to fit out a fleet for service in the Baltic. 
Deptford, Woolwich, Chatham, Sheerness, Ports- 
mouth, Devonport, and Pembroke, resounded with 
the labours of the artificers who were preparing 
the huge vessels for sea ; while the Admiralty was 
incessantly engaged in manning the ships as quickly 
as they could be placed in commission. The naval 
resources of England were never more strikingly 
displayed. "While the utmost difficulty was expe- 
rienced in sending a small army to Turkey, the 
early spring witnessed the completion of one of 
the finest fleets the world had ever seen ; and this, 
too, in addition to the large fleet sent to the 
Black Sea, and to the ships reserved for home- 
defence and other service. 

The vessels destined for this Baltic war assem- 
bled at Spithead; and the review of the fleet 
by Her Majesty was a spectacle worthy of the 
queen of a maritime nation. A review on the 
same spot in the previous August had produced 
a great impression, as a manifestation of the naval 
power of Britain ; but the display in March was 
yet more grand. Sir Charles Napier's fleet was 
to consist of about 44 ships-of-war, manned by 
upwards of 22,000 seamen, mounting about 2200 
guns, and propelled by 16,000 horse-power of 
steam. Only six out of the whole number were to 
be sailing-vessels the Neptune, 120; St George, 
120 ; Prince Regent, 90 ; Boscawen, 70 ; Monarch, 84 ; 
and Cumberland, 70 all the rest being either screw 
or paddle steamers. It was arranged that some of 
these should form a first division, to start under 
Sir Charles Napier ; that others, as a second 
division, should follow under Admiral Corry ; 
and that the rest should be subsequently des- 
patched. Sir Charles's division consisted entirely 
of steamers, sixteen in number: comprising 8 
screw line-of-battle ships, 4 screw-frigates, and 4 
paddle-steamers.* The Duke of Wellington and 



* Screw Line-of-battle Ships. 



D_v- _m- M- i 
uke of Wellington, 



* 



Cant. 
131 

Ml 

101 

91 
60 
60 





Mo. 

n0 o 
990 
900 
850 
660 
660 





680 0420 



Hore-powr. 
780 
400 
650 
400 
450 
450 
450 
450 

4030 



the Royal George were three-deckers. Sir Charles's 
flag floated on the Duke of Wellington, Admiral 
Chads's on the Edinburgh, and Admiral Plumridge's 
on the Leopard. 

Of all the ships borne on the bosom of the ocean 
in 1854, the flag-ship of Sir Charles Napier exhi- 
bited in the most marked degree the characteristics 
of modern science as applied to marine architecture. 
This vessel may be said, indeed, to have altered 
her very principle of growth during her progress 
towards maturity, that she might be adapted for 
the reception of the fruits of invention and dis- 
covery. Originally laid down at Pembroke as 
a man-of-war of 120 guns, she underwent three 
changes she was cut in two at the middle, and 
lengthened by 23 feet, for the reception of 11 
additional guns; she had a screw-propeller fitted 
as an auxiliary to the power of the sails ; and 
her launching, occurring as it did about the 
time of the death of the great warrior, led to a 
change of name from the Windsor Castle to the 
Duke of Wellington. Thus was produced the 
majestic three-decker of 131 guns having an 
extreme length of 278 feet, extreme breadth of 
60 feet, and a total weight, when fully equipped 
for sea, of 5600 tons. Such a leviathan had never 
before ploughed the seas, for it possessed large 
steam-power in addition to the usual fittings for a 
sailing man-of-war of the first class. The problem 
was yet to be solved, how far a vessel necessarily 
drawing so great a depth of water would be fitted 
for active service in a closed, shallow, intricate sea 
like the Baltic. 

Exciting was the day when Queen Victoria 
witnessed the departure of the fleet for Russian 
waters. On the llth of March 1854, the shores 
of Hampshire and of the Isle of "Wight were 
crowded with thousands of eager spectators, who 
then for the first time witnessed the departure of 
a large fleet destined to a possible career of war 
and destruction. The various ships being assembled 
at Spithead, the Queen came from Osborne in the 
Fairy yacht, steamed up to the gigantic flag-ship, 
received all the principal officers on board the 
yacht, and bade them farewell and God-speed. 
Early in the afternoon the signal was given, and 
the ships weighed, and sailed or steamed forth. 
The Royal George led the way ; then followed the 
St Jean d'Acre and the Tribune ; to these succeeded 
the Imperieuse, Blenheim, Amphion, Princess Royal, 
and the other ships in succession. Her Majesty 



Scretc-frigata. 

Imperieuse, 50 

Arrogant, 47 

Amphion, 34 

Tribune 30 

161 

Paddle-wheel Steamers. 

Bam. 

Leopard, 18 

Dragon, 6 

Bull-dog 6 

Valorous, 16 

46 



Men. Hont-f*cr. 
530 360 

450 360 

320 SOO 

800 300 



1600 



Men. 

280 
200 
160 
220 



1320 



Horse-power. 
560 
560 
500 
400 

2020 



FLEETS DESPATCHED BY THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



159 



literally headed the fleet ; the little Fairy darted 
on in advance of all, insomuch that, when return- 
ing westward, the Queen passed the stately ships 
in succession. Nearly all the seamen were enabled 
to catch a glance of their sovereign, as she stood 
upon the deck of her yacht ; and the recognition 
was not likely to be forgotten either by seamen 
or sovereign. No such sight had been witnessed, 
perhaps, on English shores since Queen Eliza- 
beth's parting visit to her defenders at Tilbury, 
266 years earlier, on occasion of the Spanish 
Armada. 



The fleet or rather the one division of the fleet 
under Sir Charles Napier passed the Downs at 
mid-day on the 12th. It pursued its majestic 
course up the German Ocean, through the Skager 
Rack, thence to Helsingor, at the mouth of the 
Sound, and onward to Copenhagen, where Sir 
Charles landed on the 20th to pay his respects 
to the king of Denmark. The paddle-steamer 
Hecla had previously been sent out, on the 19th of 
February, to make a preparatory survey of the 
Baltic, carrying several masters and pilots ; she 
was absent about five weeks, during which time 




Duke of Wellington Screw War-steamer. 



a run of 3000 miles had been made sounding 
and examining very carefully all the shoals and 
doubtful spots connected with Baltic navigation. 
The Hecla met the fleet off Dover; when Sir 
Charles took on board the masters and pilots 
who had thus gained practical experience, and 
distributed them among the various ships of his 
fleet. 

No sooner had the naval authorities at Ports- 
mouth despatched the first division of the fleet 
under Sir Charles Napier, than arrangements were 
made to send off the second division under Rear- 
admiral Corry an officer who had seen nearly 
half a century of active service, although his name 
was not associated in a marked degree with any 
special achievements. On the 16th of March, the 
Queen visited Corry's squadron at Spithead, as 
she had before visited that of papier. The ships 
ready at that time were few in number, not 
exceeding six or seven ; they sailed in the following 
week to be succeeded by other vessels as rapidly 
as the equipment and manning could be completed. 



Admiral Corry in the Neptune, 120 guns, was 
accompanied in the first instance by the Caesar, 91 ; 
Prince Regent, 90; Boscawen, 70; Frolic, 16; and 
Bull-dog, G. 

One arrangement was highly characteristic of an 
age in which steam-power and engine-machinery 
were about to be brought in aid of naval warfare. 
The Volcano, steam-frigate, was converted into a 
floating-workshop, by Mr Nasmyth, of Patricroft, 
to afford speedy means of effecting repairs in the 
steam-machinery of the Baltic fleet. Instead of 
taking a damaged ship to the workshop, the 
workshop would be taken to the damaged ship. 
The first deck was converted into an engineering- 
shop, 104 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 10 feet high ; 
provided with a 12 horse-power steam-engine, and 
with turning-lathes, planing-machines, boiler-plate 
punching and shearing machines, drilling and 
boring machines, forges, blowing-fans, a cupola- 
furnace, a Nasmyth's steam-hammer, and all the 
tools and implements necessary for ordinary 
engineering work. This floating- workshop was 



160 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



in itself an epitome of the history of progress in 
the mechanical arts; and as thus applied to the 
necessities of a fleet in actual service, it presented 
a marked contrast to anything which the annals 
of naval warfare had before supplied. 

The dav which witnessed the declaration of war 
by England and France, nearly coincided with 
that on which the fleet reached the Swedish and 
panish shores. The two divisions joined on the 
23d of .March, at Wingo Sound, near Gothenborg ; 
they passed through the Great Belt, anchored off 
Nyborg on the 27th, and sailed on the 28th to 
Kiel, in Holstein. Dispatches reached Sir Charles 
Napier by mail-route from London ; and consequent 
on the information thus received, the following 
characteristic address was issued to the fleet by its 
commander : 

' Lads War is declared. We are to meet a bold and 
numerous enemy. Should they offer us battle, you 
know how to dispose of them. Should they remain in 
port, we must try to get at them. Success depends 
upon the quickness and precision of your fire. Lads, 
sharpen your cutlasses, and the day is your own.' 

The fleet left Kiel Fiord on the 30th, and sailed 
to Kib'ge Bay, near Copenhagen, at which point 
the intricate navigation between numerous islands 
may be said to terminate, leaving an open sea 
for the subsequent course of the ships. When the 
month of April opened, the fleet, now numbering 
twenty-two ships-of-war, was at anchor in Kibge 
Bay. The St George, James Watt, Caesar, Nik, 
Majestic, Boscawen, Odin, Miranda, Rosamond, and 
several steam-sloops, had not yet joined it at that 
spot. 

Having thus traced the British fleet to the 
Baltic, it becomes necessary to notice the maritime 
contingent furnished by our French ally for the 
same service. 

France, as a military nation, has paid far more 
attention to campaigns on land than to encounters 
at sea. Her shipwrights and engineers, however, 
have not failed to watch and to profit by the 
improvements introduced in England ; and during 
the long peace, a fleet of considerable power was 
gradually formed. At the beginning of 1854, the 
naval forces of France comprised 290 sailing-ships 
and 117 steamers ; presenting an aggregate of 
about 13,000 guns, and 30,000 horse-power for the 
steamers.* Of this force, about 30 vessels were 
set apart to share in the Baltic expedition ; 
comprising 9 ships-of-the-line, 12 frigates, 4 brigs 

The details were nearly as follows : 

Sailing-vessels. 
Gun.. 

120 9 

100 14 

90 19 

80 to 82 ... 11 

60 . 60 42 

40 46 16 

Corvettes 39 

Brigs and Cutters, 101 



Smaller vessels, 

Steam-vesselt. 
Vessels-of-the-Linc, 
Frigates, 

Corvettes, 

Dispatch-boats and other small vessels, 



39 

1 

20 
30 
64 



and corvettes, and the remainder smaller vessels. 
They did not sail in a body, but started for the 
scene of operations as soon as equipped and 
manned. The fleet was placed under the command 
of Admiral Parseval-Descheues. He left Paris for 
Brest on the 20th of March ; and the ships began 
to leave Brest for the Baltic on the same day. 

Great and powerful as were the fleets thus 
assembled at the entrance of the Baltic in April 
1854, the next inquiry is What were the naval 
forces against which they were called upon to 
combat ? 

Russia began her navy (p. 4) tinder Peter the 
Great, who, as is Avell known, studied the art of 
ship-building in other countries to qualify himself 
for this self-imposed duty. The Russian mercan- 
tile marine has never been extensive ; nor are her 
ports numerous, considering the vast area of the 
czar's dominions : hence many difficulties have 
stood in the way of the formation of a powerful 
navy. Until the time of Catherine II., the 
Russian ships of war had only been employed in 
cruising about the Baltic ; but that empress sent a 
few of them by way of the Atlantic from the 
Baltic to the Black Sea ; since which time Russia 
has always maintained a fleet in the Constantino- 
politan waters. Russia was slightly engaged in 
naval hostility with England in 1801 and 1808; 
while in 1827, the two powers fought side by side 
at the ill-omened battle of Navarino. The Russian 
naval forces at the beginning of 1854, appear, from 
the figures furnished by Haxthausen and other 
writers, to have comprised about 60 ships-of-the- 
line, ranging from 70 to 120 guns ; 36 frigates, of 
40 to 60 guns ; 70 corvettes, brigs, and brigan- 
tines ; and 40 steamers the whole carrying about 
9000 guns, and requiring a force of 40,000 seamen. 
Somewhat later in the year, it was known that at 
Helsingfors (Sveaborg) and Cronstadt the Russians 
had not less than 30 ships of 74 guns or upwards 
each ;* with an aggregate armament of 2468 guns ; 
besides 3 steamers of 400 horse-power each, 2 of 
120 horse-power, and 1 steam-corvette of 450 horse- 
power the six steamers carrying collectively 56 
guns. The numbers could not have deviated much 
from this in April, at the time when the English 
and French fleets entered the Baltic. 

There are many peculiarities in the Russian 
navv. The officers and sailors are not so much 



* At Helsingfors. 

Russia, .... 120 Brienne, 

St George the Conqueror, 112 Arsis,. 

Pultava 84 Ezekiel, 

Prochor, .... 84 Andrew, 

Vladimir, .... 84 

At Croiistadt. 

. 120 Finland, 
112 
84 



Gum. 

74 

74 

74 

, 71 



Emperor Peter I., 

* * * . 
Enigheten, . 
Krasnoe, 
Ganule, 
Volga, . 

Empress Alexandra, 
Narva, . 
Beresina, 
Borodino, 
Smolensko, 



Katzbach, 

Ingermanland, . 
84 Culm, . 
84 Pourgat Azofa, . 
84 Sisoe the Great, 
84 Villajath, . 
74 Natron-menga, 

Frre Champenoise, 



Michael, 



FLEETS DESPATCHED BY THE WESTERN POWERS : 1854. 



161 



seamen, as soldiers afloat ; for the discipline 
partakes rather of the military than of the naval 
character. Many of the generals are admirals 
also ; and the ships are under the control of the 
commandants of the respective fortresses, to an 
extent not observable in England or France. It is 
remarkable that the Russians have never fought 
a great naval battle, in the sense in which the 
Nelsons and Howes would have understood that 
term. When Peter the Great almost annihilated the 
Swedish fleet in 1715; when Orloff inflicted similar 
ruin on the Turks at Tchesme in 1770 ; when the 
Russians, as one of the allies, crushed the Turkish 
fleet at Navarino ; and when they made the ruth- 
less attack at Sinope in 1853 it was in each case 
a crushing onslaught with a superior force, rather 
than a battle on equal terms fought out at sea. It 
is stated by Mr Oliphant,* as the result both of his 
reading and of his personal observations, that the 
Russian ships-of-war are not durable ; that pecula- 
tion prevails from the highest to the lowest among 
Russian officers; that while sound timber is paid 
for by the government, green pine and fir are 
largely used, the difference in value finding its 
way into the pockets of nefarious contractors and 
officials ; and that the vessels, imperfectly built of 
imperfect materials, become rotten in a few years 
insomuch that Russia possesses very few ships- 
of-war that could venture on a voyage round the 
Cape. The worm called the teredo navalis infests 
much of the timber with which the ships are built ; 
but it is believed that this Avorm is made to bear 
the blame, not only of the rot which it really 
produces, but of that more disgraceful rot which 
results from official dishonesty. The Emperor 
Nicholas expended such enormous sums on his 
armies, fleets, and fortresses, that the national 
exchequer could not support the pressure of an 
adequate remuneration for personal services ; 
almost all the officials, in the various grades, were 
underpaid in respect to emolument; they could 
not maintain a position as gentlemen on the 
recognised salaries of their respective offices, and 
were hence driven to the adoption of crooked 
means to enhance their incomes. Jobbing and 
official dishonesty were almost inevitable conse- 
quences. Wherever such is the case, the lowest 
grades, the unofficial, ultimately bear the severity 
of the burden ; and thus, in Russia as in Turkey, 
the common soldiers and the poor peasants suffer 
incalculable miseries from the peculations and 
tyranny of their superiors. This is one of the few 
points in Avhich the dominion of the czar and that 
of the sultan approach to parallelism: neither 
despot is so fortunate as to be surrounded by honest 
officials. 

Anterior to the commencement of the war, the 
whole naval force of Russia was divided into the 
Blue, Red, and White fleets / or squadrons the 
first stationed in the Black Sea, the second in the 
Baltic, and the third in the White Sea. The few 

* Russian Shores of the Slack Sea. 



ships near Kamtchatka were too limited in number 
to be separately grouped. The Black Sea and 
the Baltic fleets were each in two divisions, and 
each division comprised two vessels of the first 
class, six of the second, six frigates, two corvettes, 
and several steamers. So far as organisation went, 
the fleets were strictly disciplined ; and if the ships 
and the seamen had been effective, the naval forces 
of Russia would really have been formidable. Of 
the ships, a little has just been said ; of the seamen, 
there is much evidence against their efficiency. 
' Russia wants the first vital element for a navy 
seamen. The reason of this is simple enough 
she possesses [comparatively] no merchant-navy. 
The population of Finland, Courland, Livonia, and 
Esthonia does not amount to more than 1,500,000 
inhabitants ; that of the Black Sea provinces does 
not exceed 500,000 : it is therefore only from this 
limited number most of whom, too, devote them- 
selves to agriculture that Russia can raise her 
levies. Even those who are sailors are engaged in 
the coasting-trade, which they follow in the day- 
time alone, sheltering themselves at night behind 
the girdle of islands and eyots which line all the 
Russian coast. To man its ships, the Russian 
government is obliged to fall back upon the inha- 
bitants of the interior of the country. In this way 
it has, up to the present time, formed an army of 
sailors, who are frightened at the sea, which the 
majority of them never saw before. The levies 
for the navy, like those for the army, are composed 
of the strangest and most heterogeneous elements ; 
and it is therefore a very difficult task to prepare 
them for the rough calling for which they are 
intended. Neither the whip nor the knout will ever 
be able to bend the Russian to this kind of service : 
the cold and fanatical indifference of the Russian 
soldier on land, before hundreds of cannon belching 
out death, abandons him entirely on board a ship. 
Like the Arab and the Persian, the Cossack and 
the Tatar, he has a profound feeling of horror for 
the sea. Besides this, he is destitute of vigour, 
idle, and without muscular strength ; for the 
muscles beneath his flabby skin, so often lacerated 
by the rod, are not capable of any great exertion. 
An Englishman or Frenchman is two or three 
times stronger, and more active in his movements. 
A Russian ship, consequently, requires twice as 
many men as one of our vessels does to make up 
its full complement. Again, it is not on board a 
number of pontoons, imprisoned in the ice or laid 
up in dock for the greater part of the year, that 
sailors are formed, or crews receive the practical 
instruction which it is necessary for them to ac- 
quire. Every year the Baltic is blocked up by the 
ice from the month of October to the end of April, 
at least; even the Black Sea is not always free 
from a similar obstruction ; while, during the 
summer, the navigation of both seas is so danger- 
ous and so difficult, that there is a ukase punishing 
with degradation and death every officer who has 
not returned with his vessel before the equinoxes, 
or who happens to lose it from stress of weather. 



li 12 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



In addition to all these considerations, good sailors 
are formed only by long voyages ; and, I repeat, 
the Russians of the Black Sea, as well as those of 
the IJaltk-, are employed merely in the coasting- 
trade.'* 

It remained to be seen whether the naval 
encounters of 1854 in the Baltic would tell in 
fav>ur of the soldier-sailors who manned the 
Ku<-iau fleet. 



PROCEEDINGS OF -THE ALLIES IN THE 
BALTIC. 

Although the Allied fleets entered tho Baltic 
early in April, the sea was not yet fitted for navi- 
gation by large ships, owing to the length of time 
during which the ice of winter clings to the ports 
and inlets. Cronstadt, the island-fortress which 
guards St Petersburg and the Neva, was naturally 
the point to which the attention of the two admirals 
was mainly directed ; and this island, together with 
the mouth of the Neva, were known to be encum- 
bered with ice at the time. A table, published in 
1854,t shews for a period of 136 years from 1718 
to 1853 the dates, of the opening and closing 
of the river Neva. The dates are in the Old 
Style, according to Russian usage ; but by adding 
twelve days, they are accommodated to the New 
Style, as used hi England. In no case did the 
opening of the Neva occur till April ; most of the 
openings were in the third or fourth week of that 
month ; while some Avere retarded until May. The 
closing begins generally some time in November. 
The ice lingers around Cronstadt nearly a week 
later than at the mouth of the Neva, insomuch 
that the month of May is in most years fairly 
advanced before the vicinity of that fortress can 
be safely approached by large ships. This icy 
fringe-work is present during about 150 days in 
each year. 

Slowly and cautiously did the Allied admirals 
advance, watchful of shoals in one part, and of ice 
in another. Of the enemy, there was rather a fear 
that he would not be met with ; the seamen were 
eager for an encounter; but it began already to 
be suspected that the Russian ships would shelter 
behind stone-fortresses. To many, even among 
the educated officers, the expedition partook of the 
nature of a voyage of discovery, or at least of 
exploration in a little-known region. ' The Baltic 
had entered little into our speculations as a seat 
of war, and was to ships of the navy almost 
a mare ignotum. Merchant-vessels had traversed 
it backwards and forwards, and visited all its 
different ports with their cargoes ; but the profes- 
sional knowledge of its waters and shores was 
very small, and derived chiefly from foreign 
charts. The men of the last war, depending 
chiefly on their seamanship and enterprise, had 
added little to our scientific information on the 

* Germain de Lagny. 

+ Almanac of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences. 



subject, and left, as the result of their experience, 
only the warnings of disaster and a few oral records. 
The high hopes, therefore, which followed the 
departure of the first Baltic fleet, must have been 
dashed by a fear that some of those magnificent 
ships might return no more.'* The merchants 
engaged in the Baltic trade do indeed know the 
perils of that region taught, as they have been, 
by costly experience. In a series of years imme- 
diately preceding the war, the vessels which passed 
the Sound, either inwards or outwards, numbered 
no less than 15,000 annually, of which nearly one- 
fourth were British. Never did a year pass without 
many of these ships being wrecked. The Baltic 
navigators have found the most dangerous points, 
in so far as regards wrecking on the coast, to be 
Sandhammer and Falsterbo, near the southern 
extremity of Sweden ; the east coast of the island 
of Gothland; the Aland Islands; the Dager Ort, 
near the entrance to the Gulf of Finland ; and a 
hazardous shoal between Christian ia and Gotheu- 
borg. Any criticism on naval manoeuvres in the 
Baltic would be unjust, which did not take into 
account the perils of such a sea to bulky ships 
drawing so great a depth of water as those in 
Sir Charles Napier's fleet. 

The Czar Nicholas, naturally expecting that the 
Gulf of Finland, containing Cronstadt and the 
approach to St Petersburg, would be visited by the 
English and French fleets, was not slow to prepare 
defensively for such a contingency. As early as 
November in the previous year, the formation of 
twenty Finnish battalions of troops had been 
ordered to be dressed and equipped by the 
districts which provided them, but armed from the 
arsenals at Sveaborg. At the same tune, defensive 
works were commenced at various points along the 
coast, where a landing might be apprehended ; 
and hospitals and lazarettos were established at 
a distance of a few miles inland. The military 
road from St Petersburg to Helsingfbrs, which 
crosses much marshy ground, was supplied with 
formidable batteries at certain points insomuch 
that the swamps and the guns together might 
check the progress of an invading army along 
that route. The wonderful defences at Sveaborg 
and Helsingfb'rs were still further strengthened. 
The Grand-Duke Constantino, second son of the 
czar, visited all the strong positions in the gulf in 
February 1854, in order that, when the expected 
declaration of war should arrive, no weak points 
might be left to the mercy of the enemy. 

It was a Swedish and Danish holiday-trip to 
steam forth and witness the passage of the mighty 
fleets into the Baltic. Lines of steamers ply 
between different ports on the Norwegian, Swedish, 
Danish, and Prussian coasts ; and many of these 
steamers bore extra numbers of passengers, incited 
by curiosity to see the novel and imposing display. 
On some occasions, a party of visitors, from Malmo 
or Gothenborg, or other port, would be admitted 

* SlacTiicoocTs Magazine, No. CCCCLXXVIII. 



PROCEEDINGS OP THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



163 



on board one of the gigantic ships, where they 
were speedily lost in admiration at the wonders 
of a modern Avar screw-steamer ; and on all these 
occasions, good wishes for the Allies accompanied 
the admiration. 

Early in April, a report obtained currency that 
a Russian squadron had been seen somewhere 
near the centre of the Baltic ; and this report had 
the effect of hastening the movements of Sir 
Charles Napier and his fleet from Kioge Bay 
towards the east. If such a squadron had really 
put to sea, however, it must have returned to 
port in good time for its own safety : the Allies 
saw nothing of it. Rear-admiral Plumriclge, 
with the Leopard, Imperieuse, Tribune, and 
Amphion, was detached from the main fleet, on a 
reconnoitring expedition up the Gulfs of Bothnia 
and Finland as far as the ice would permit. He 
was enabled to send back word to Sir Charles, 
that seven Russian line-of-battle ships and one 
frigate were frozen in at Helsingfdrs. On the 
receipt of this intelligence, April 12th, Napier 
set sail with fifteen vessels in the direction of the 
Gulf of Finland. The courts of Sweden and 
Denmark had by that time announced clearly 
the course they would follow in the delicate 
state of Baltic affairs, whereby the British 
admiral knew to what extent he might approach 
their shores ; the two courts, having determined 
to remain strictly neutral, forbade the entrance of 
either hostile fleet behind the defences at Wax- 
holm, Raholm, Karlskrona, and other specified 
places ; but facilities were to be afforded in all the 
ports of the neutral powers for the purchase of 
provisions and stores by the fleets, except articles 
contraband of war. 

When Sir Charles Napier thus began to move 
eastward, in the middle of April, his armament 
had accumulated to nearly forty ships, of which 
more than half were screw-steamers. The whole 
had on board about 1700 guns and 18,000 men ; 
Avith Corry, Plumridge, and Chads as the three 
admirals under Napier. But from that time, it 
was seldom that all the ships were assembled at 
or near one spot ; special expeditions being always 
in progress, by detached portions of the fleet. 

The French fleet, commanded by Vice-admiral 
Parseval-Deschenes, comprised about twenty-four 
vessels.* The commander hoisted his flag on the 
Inflexible; while Rear-admiral Penaud, second 
in command, sailed in the Duguesclin. Unlike 
the English armament, this French fleet took out 
a small body of infantry and another of artillery, 
ready for prospective land-service. These various 



* Tage, 
Austerlitz, 
Hercule, 
.Temmappes, 
Breslau, 
Duguesclin, 
Inflexible, . 
Duperre, . 



Darien, 
Phlegethon, 



Guns. 

100 Trident, 

100 Semillante, 

100 Andromaque, 

100 Vengeance, 

90 Ppursuivante, 

90 Virgthie, 

90 Zenobie, 

80 Psyche 1 , . 



Small Steamers. 



Souffleur, 
Milan, 



Lucifer, 
Aigle, 



Daim, &c. 



ships joined Sir Charles Napier's fleet at different 
times and different places. 

When the huge vessels had become disentangled 
from the intricacy of Kioge Bay, they passed the 
island of Bornholm to the larger island of Goth- 
land. Here the bulk of the fleet remained some 
time, while detached vessels sailed or steamed on 
particular service mostly to reconnoitre the coasts 
and the various ports. At the extreme point of 
the peninsula, which may be said to separate the 
Gulf of Bothnia from the Gulf of Finland, is the 
promontory of Hango Udd or Hango Head ; this, 
as in some sort guarding the entrance to the Gulf 
of Finland, had been fortified by the Russians, and, 
as a matter of course, attracted the attention of 
the Allies. Towards this important headland, Sir 
Charles moved his fleet early in May, despatching 
single ships north and east of it. A smart affair 
occurred on the 19th, under the management of 
Captain Yelverton in the Arrogant, and Captain 
Hall (who had won distinction a few years earlier 
in the Chinese War) in the Hecla both steamers. 
The two vessels steamed up a small firth which 
bounds the Hango peninsula on the east, and 
which is marked at the entrance by the town of 
Ekness or Eknas. Yelverton and Hall determined 
to capture one, at least, of three large laden Rus- 
sian merchant-vessels which were lying at anchor 
in Ekness Bay ; but the whole coast was bristling 
with defences a sandbank-battery in one place, 
a stone-battery in another, a masked - battery 
behind a wood near the shore, infantry armed with 
Minie'-rifles at one place, and a troop of horse- 
artillery in another. Shot and shell and Minie"- 
balls flew about in all directions ; the Hecla had 
several shot through her funnel, steam-pipe, and 
hull, and both vessels were studded with Minie"- 
balls. Nevertheless, in the midst of a torrent of 
shot, Captain Hall ran into the harbour at Ekness, 
captured a bark, and towed her away, much to 
the astonishment of the inhabitants. The little 
Hecla, a 6-gun steamer, bore most of the rough 
usage ; the Arrogant, of 46 guns, was too heavy to 
approach the shoal water as closely as Captain 
Yelverton would have wished. It was, indeed, an 
extraordinary fight thus maintained by the Hecla; 
for the Russian infantry, cavalry, and artillery 
moved along the coast parallel with the steamer's 
course, dodging its movements, and firing inces- 
santly. This was the first among many examples 
furnished in the Baltic, that vessels of light draught 
are better fitted to render useful service in that 
sea than first-class men-of-war. 

Another subsidiary expedition was intrusted to 
Captain Cooper Key, with the Amphion (34) and 
the Conflict (8), both screw-steamers. The destina- 
tion was the coast of Courland, not far from the 
Prussian frontier. Arriving off the port of Libau, 
Captain Key learned that several Russian mer- 
chant-vessels lay in the port, and that the place 
was defended by 500 or 600 soldiers. He resolved 
to capture the vessels, some or all. Having 
steamed within gunshot of the town on the 17th 



164 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



of May, the governor was summoned by Captain 
Key to surrender ; a refusal led to the manning of 
all the boats belonging to both ships those of the 
Amj'fiion being commanded by Captain Key, and 
those of the Conflict by Captain Cuimning. The 
l.,,af> had to pull a mile and a half up a small 
creek or river to reach Libau ; and as the river 
^as oiilv fifty yards broad, the captains deemed it 
fortunate that the Russian soldiers did not appear 
on the banks, else might the fate of the boat- 
expedition have been doubtful. The invaders were 
130 men in all only, against a population of 10,000, 
aided by 600 soldiers. Nevertheless, so judiciously 
did Captain Cumming manage a conference with 
the magistrates, that all the ships were given up, 
without a shot being fired on either side ; and the 
Amphion and Conflict, before nightfall, steamed 
forth with eight new Russian merchant-vessels in 
tow. The achievement was fully as remarkable 
as that due to Captain Hall, about the same time, 
in another part of the Baltic. Captain Key, in 
his dispatch to Sir Charles Napier, said : ' The 
private property found on board was restored to 
the owners on application for it. Although I had 
the opportunity of destroying a large amount of 
the enemy's property such as their houses, vessels 
on the stocks, and vessels repairing I did not 
consider it right to do so, as the troops had left 
the town so pitifully to its fate, and the people 
had assisted in getting the vessels out by opening 
the bridge, which would have detained us some 
considerable time had we been obliged to blow^ 
it up.' 

A capture of somewhat analogous character was 
effected by Captain Wilcox in the Dragon, a paddle- 
steamer of 6 guns. While cruising in the Gulf of 
Finland, he reconnoitred the port of Revel, situated 
on the coast of Esthonia, nearly opposite Sveaborg. 
Seeing two vessels at anchor there, he made a dash 
at them. Regardless of the shot poured towards 
his little steamer from the batteries, he ran in close 
ashore, captured both of the ships, and towed them 
into Hango Bay on the following morning. 

During the whole of the month of May, Sir 
Charles Napier, with the principal portion of the 
fleet, remained in the region between Gothland 
and Haugo, ready to take advantage of any oppor- 
tunity to attack the Russians, but cautious as to 
the adoption of any rash enterprise. It was 
known that a large Russian fleet remained safely 
hidden behind the fortified islands of Sveaborg, 
and that a yet larger force was ready at Cronstadt! 
Supposing that, by a great exercise of skill and 
daring, the ships at the island-fortress could be 
drawn into action and defeated, there yet remained 
the question, how far the Croustadt fleet might, 
at some critical moment, come out and take the 
Allies at a disadvantage. It was not a matter 
which British admirals were likely to view with 
much timidity ; but still it was incumbent on a 
commander to take all the data into account. Aid 
from the Swedes could not be expected, for reasons 
already stated. The Swedish newspapers freely 



discussed the subject : the Aftonblad and the 
Gotheborgs Handels og Sjofarts Tidning ('Gothen- 
borg Commercial and Maritime News') took the 
part of the Allies, while other papers advocated a 
neutral policy. The first-named of these journals 
urged, that a bold policy on the part of Sweden 
might induce the Fiulanders to rise against their 
Muscovite masters, in aid of the Allies. ' A 
people's sense of independence may be lulled 
asleep ; it can never be destroyed. The Fins are 
aware that, united to Sweden, they obey law, and 
not arbitrary power, and that their sons will not 
be sent away to Siberia without previous sentence. 
Supported by a friendly population in the country, 
by a powerful fleet on the coasts, which would 
scatter the forces and the attention of the enemy, 
the Swedish army, inflamed by the enthusiasm of 
a just cause, by the ardent desire of avenging at 
last the former treachery and violence of Russia, 
would, before long, chase them from every corner 
of Finland, and once more dictate peace.' These 
high-sounding words, conveying much truth and 
some exaggeration, failed of effect : Sweden did 
not join the Allies, nor did the Finlanders rise 
against Russia. Napier, knowing these facts, was 
aware that he could count upon no material aid 
on Finnish shores, and it behoved him to weigh 
well his proceedings. Mortifying was it to him, 
and to all his officers and men, to know that the 
English newspapers began to be impatient, and to 
ask why, the month of June having arrived, no 
signal achievements had been recorded. This is 
one of the penalties paid by a distinguished man 
for his reputation ; he is expected to strew his 
path with great deeds, Avhether the aggregate of 
circumstances be favourable to him or not. Hasty 
admirers at home felt so assured that Russian 
power was to be annihilated by Sir Charles in the 
Baltic, that pleasure-trips were planned to go and 
see the brave work done.* 

Admiral Plumridge, during the greater part of 
the month of May, and the first week in June, 
was engaged in a special service a service not 
so acceptable to a brave officer, perhaps, as 
actual fighting since it involved the destruction 
of property : one of the painful necessities, if 
necessity it be, of a state of warfare. The duty 
intrusted to him carried him up the Gulf of 
Bothnia, to its extreme northern limit. On the 
eastern or Finnish shores of this gulf, Admiral 
Plumridge, between the 5th of May and the 10th 
of June, destroyed 46 vessels, afloat or on the 
stocks, amounting to 11,000 tons burden ; 40,000 
barrels of pitch and tar ; 60,000 square yards of 
rough pitch ; and a vast quantity of timber, spars, 
plank, deals, sails, ropes, and other naval stores 
roughly estimated to amount in value to 300,000 

* Two or throe advertisements, such as the following, appeared 
in the London newspapers during the summer : ' SEAT OF WAR. 
TRIP TO THE BALTIC. The Advertiser, being desirous of visiting 
the scene of operations in the Baltic, is anxious to meet with some 
gentlemen who would join in hiring a screw-steamer to proceed 
thither and attend the motions of the fleet. Any gentleman 
anxious to join in the expedition may obtain further information 
by applying by letter addressed to .' 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



1G5 



or 400,000. He did not lose a man during this 
scene of destruction. 

The object of this northern expedition seems 
to have been, in the first instance, mainly an 
examination of the intricate channels between 
the Aland Islands, which form a kind of rugged 
barrier at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, and 
which, possessed by Russia, give her virtually 
the command of that sea. Admiral Plumridge, 
in the Leopard, accompanied by the Valorous, 
Vulture, and Odin steam-frigates, after ascertaining 
that the Aland Archipelago could not be safely 
navigated without a native pilot, directed his 
attention northward. The vessels moored at a 
certain distance from the shore, while the ships' 
boats I'owed into several small ports, to make 
manifest to the unfortunate Finlanders that their 
Russian master could not protect them from the 
naval power of England. Brahestad, Uleaborg, 
and Tornea, were three of the ports thus visited, 
all near the northern extremity of the gulf. It 
was nearly the close of May before the admiral 
reached those regions ; but a few days then 
sufficed to finish the work. On the 30th of May, 
14 vessels and a great quantity of stores were 
destroyed at Brahestad ; on the 1st and 2d of June, 
23 vessels were similarly treated at Uleaborg, 3 
at Ukovaryakka, and 5 at Killoncrusit, two places 
near Uleaborg ; while another vessel was de- 
stroyed on the 8th at or near Tornea, on the 
Kemi River. At all these five places, naval 
stores in large quantity were destroyed as well 
as vessels. On the occasion of the admiral 
approaching Uleaborg, four merchants went out 
to meet him, under a flag of truce, and begged 
him to spare the town. He announced that all 
private property would be spared, and that only 
government buildings and stores would be de- 
stroyed ; but he, at the same time, gave a warning 
as to the result which might follow any resistance 
on the part of the townsmen. At Brahestad, a 
refusal on the part of the authorities to surrender 
some gun-boats led to a landing of the English, 
in more hostile array than at Uleaborg. It was 
only because government ships and stores were 
kept at those places that the attacks were made ; 
and the burning was unquestionably intended to 
be confined to such imperial property : but the 
wind has a voice in such matters ; and it is 
unfortunately true that private property suffered 
from the flames, as well as that which belonged 
to the Russian government. At Tornea, close to 
the Swedish frontier, the inhabitants procured 
the destruction of the government barracks and 
warehouses before the arrival of the English ; 
they were backed in their entreaties by the 
inhabitants of Haparanda, a small town on the 
opposite or Swedish side of the frontier ; and 
the English, after an examination of the town, 
left it with only a small amount of injury. An 
attempt was made in parliament, a few weeks 
afterwards, to shew that the rules of honourable 
warfare had been in some degree departed from 



in these attacks ; but the charge was not sub- 
stantiated. 

The destructive expedition of Admiral Plumridge 
was closed by an encounter in which defeat, 
instead of success, attended him. On the shore of 
Finland, a little south of Brahestad, are two small 
towns named Gamle (Old) and Ny (New) Karleby. 
The Odin and the Vulture arrived off Gamle 
Karleby on the 7th of June ; and sent out several 
boats at eleven o'clock in the evening at which 
hour there is still a little daylight in the summer 
of high latitudes. A summons to surrender 
any stores contraband of war, made two hours 
earlier, seems to have been refused. The boats 
approached the shore, and attempted a landing. 
Two pieces of artillery, and two companies of 
infantry, resisted the attempt ; and a brisk inter- 
change of bullet and ball ensued for nearly an 
hour. The boats were ultimately obliged to retire, 
carrying away a few dead and wounded, and 
leaving a few prisoners in the hands of the 
Russians. The water is so shallow at that part, 
that the steam - frigates could not safely come 
within four or five miles of the shore ; and this 
circumstance prevented them from assisting the 
boats. Whether the insignificance of the place 
(comprising less than 2000 inhabitants) rendered 
the admiral indifferent to a second attack, certain 
it is that the result of the hour's fighting greatly 
elated the Russians, and gave occasion for highly 
coloured accounts in the Journal de St Petersburg 
and the Invalide Russe, in which the Russian loss 
was set down at ' four men slightly wounded.' 

Soon after these occurrences in the Gulf of 
Bothnia, the French fleet arrived, and joined the 
English. Admiral Parseval-Deschenes made his 
appearance off Hango on the 13th of June ; 
on the following day, Sir Charles Napier, accom- 
panied by Admirals Corry and Chads, made a 
visit of ceremony to the French admiral ; and 
on the 15th, Parseval-Deschenes made a similar 
complimentary visit to his brother-officer on board 
the Duke of Wellington. It was a novel and 
exciting scene ; for never before had English and 
French fleets met in amity in the Baltic ; and 
the crews, when once they had learned to rub off 
early prejudices, cheered each other right heartily. 
The blockade of all the Russian ports, in the three 
Gulfs of Livonia, Finland, and Bothnia, had been 
formally effected by Sir Charles Napier before the 
French arrived, and was officially notified in the 
London Gazette on the 16th of June. Sir Charles 
had delayed his advance up the Gulf of Finland, 
partly to await the arrival of his French allies, 
and partly by reason of numerous difficulties which 
had to be encountered. Dense fogs for many days 
rendered the navigation dangerous to large ships ; 
the Russians had removed various buoys and 
beacons which marked the proper channel ; and, 
moreover, they had removed the light-house which 
served as a landmark at Hango. A Swedish 
newspaper about that time stated that the 
governor of Sveaborg had been dismissed, on 



166 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



account of the discovery by the czar, during a 
visit of inspection, of nefarious practices; the 
governor had stolen the copper roof of the for- 
tress had stolen guns and ammunition, and had 
provided black-painted wooden balls instead of 
cannon balls appropriating to his own use the 
difl'erence in value. All this might have been 
true ; but it remained not less true that Sveaborg 
Avas a formidable place, which would require 
much study on the part of the admirals before any 
attack could safely be attempted. 

Sir Charles Napier took up a position in Baro 
Sound, a little way within the entrance to the 
Gulf of Finland, about twelve miles from Svea- 
borg, and fifteen from Revel. In the third week 
of June, there were anchored in that sound at 
one time no less than 51 ships-of-war, comprising 
28 ships-of-the-line, 5 first-class frigates, and 18 
steamers such a fleet as had never before been 
seen in the Baltic, irrespective of the novel union 
of the English and French flags. The guns, of 
large calibre, were about 2700 in number, and 
the seanfen and marines nearly 30,000. Early in 
the month, a cannonade of the forts commanding 
Hango had taken place. The forts might have 
been taken without much difficulty by a renewal 
of the attack ; but the headland was not regarded 
as sufficient in importance to warrant this display 
of force, especially considering the strength of the 
Russian position at Sveaborg, a few miles further 
east. Day by day, while in that vicinity, the men 
were waiting impatiently for the signal to advance 
to the great stronghold. They believed that what 
any admiral would dare, Sir Charles would dare ; 
but they could not know to what extent his 
movements were controlled by instructions from 
London. One of the sailors, in a letter addressed 
to his relations in England, said : ' Here we are, 
like dogs tied by the neck, all ready to fight when 
let go!' an expression which well conveyed the 
feelings and hopes of most of the crews at the time. 
On one occasion, to lessen the tedium of the men, 
private theatricals were performed on board the 
Duke of Wellington, the quarter-deck being the 
stage, and seats being raised for the whole of the 
crew. The common seamen were the performers ; 
and if their Charles II. and their Fortunes Frolic 
were of homely merit; if the bronzed arms and 
neck of Lady Clara contrasted oddly with her 
white dress and embroidered handkerchief there 
was abundance of merriment, and therein the 
object in view was sufficiently attained. 

Instead of, or in preference to, any attack on 
Sveaborg, the Allied admirals resolved on an 
advance up the Gulf of Finland to Cronstadt, the 
island which constitutes virtually the fortress in 
defence of St Petersburg. This advance was made 
during the last week in June. When within ten 
miles of the island, three small paddle- frigates, the 
Lightning, Bull-dog, ami Magidenne, were sent on 

head to sound and reconnoitre more closely, and 
especially to search for any ' infernal machines' or 
submarme explosives, the existence of which in 



those parts was apprehended. Three larger vessels, 
the Impericuse, Arrogant, and Desperate, followed 
them at a short distance to afford protection. No 
' infernal machines' were found ; but the recon- 
noitring vessels approached Cronstadt sufficiently 
near to render manifest a formidable array of 
granite batteries, and a large fleet sheltered within 
the harbour. The admirals had heard of certain 
destructive machines, which had been made at a 
government establishment near Moscow early in 
the year copper vessels, capable of holding 700 
pounds of powder, to be exploded either by per- 
cussion or by galvanic current : the knowledge 
obtained was vague, but sufficient to induce a 
cautious examination of all the approaches to 
Cronstadt, lest any such submarine apparatus 
should endanger the hulls of the ships. So far as 
could be discerned, the Russian fleet within the 
harbour nearly equalled in number about thirty 
the Anglo-French ships on the outside ; but 
made no attempt to emerge from the hiding-place 
behind stone-walls. Some of the English officers 
landed at the small island of Tolbuken, or Toll 
Beacon, westward of Croustadt, ascended to the 
summit of a light-house, and there inspected, in 
the distance, such a tremendous range of granite 
batteries as astonished all. A general impression 
was made, that the place could not be taken 
by a naval attack ; and thereupon, after a careful 
examination of the vicinity, the fleets returned 
early in July from Cronstadt to Baro Sound. 

This famous stronghold receives the same desig- 
nation as the island on which it is situated ; indeed, 
bay, island, town, port, and fortress, alike bear the 
name of Cronstadt in English maps. The island, 
however, is called Re"touzari by the Fins, and 
Kotlin-Ostrof (Kettle-Island) by the Russians. The 
Gulf of Finland narrows eastward of Styrs Point 
and Dolgoi Ness : this narrowed portion forms the 
Bay of Cronstadt; a further narrowing occurs at 
Lisi Ness and Peterhof, eastward of which is the 
Bay of St Petersburg ; and at the extreme eastern 
point of this bay, where the Neva flows into the 
sea, stands the imperial city of St Petersburg. Now, 
the island of Croustadt a bed of chalk, seven 
miles long by about one in average breadth, and 
familiarly compared in shape to an ox-tongue 
lies near the inner end of the bay of the same 
name; and the town, at the south-eastern extre- 
mity of the island (the root-end of the ' tongue '), is 
thirty-one miles' distance from St Petersburg. At 
the entrance of the harbour, on an islet opposite 
the citadel, is the strong fortress of Cronschlott, 
between which and the town is a deep channel 
of approach to the port. Croustadt is not only 
the great naval station for the Russian Baltic 
fleet : it is also the harbour of St Petersburg ; for 
all vessels proceeding to the capital are searched 
here, their cargoes sealed, and transhipment 
made to vessels intended to ascend the Neva. 
Cronstadt port has three harbours an outer one 
for ships-of-war, an inner one for merchant-ships, 
and an intermediate harbour for fitting and 



PROCEEDINGS OP THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



167 



repairing vessels. A deep and broad canal or basin 
runs half a mile into the town, between the middle 
and inner harbours; and near it is an immense 
range of dock-yards. The town presents the aspect 
rather of a government arsenal than of a commer- 
cial port, so numerous are the structures belonging 
to the imperial navy. This stronghold was one of 
the mighty works of Peter the Great; but even 
he could hardly have anticipated the stupendous 
strength which it would acquire under one of his 
successors. Not only are the town and harbour 
defended by granite batteries of formidable cha- 
racter, but every islet, every passage, is similarly 
guarded ; insomuch that, if an enemy's vessel 
attempt to sail up to St Petersburg, whether north- 
ward or southward of the island, it would have to 
pass between two bristling arrays of batteries, to 
brave which would be almost certain destruction. 
The whole is a stern picture of strength, unmarked 
by beauty. Although six miles intervene between 
the island and the mainland on either side, this 
portion of sea is so encumbered by islets, shoals, 
spits of land, and mud-banks, that the practicable 
channels are narrow, and the approach rendered 
all the more difficult. One of the most extraoi-di- 
nary features of the place is the conversion of small 
islets into strong batteries ; and another, still more 
remarkable, is the construction of forts built on 
piles driven into the mud. Thus, although Cron- 
stadt Island is very low, it is armed at all points. 
Cronschlott, Risbank, Fort Menchikoff, Fort Peter, 
Fort Alexander, Fort Constantiue all are strongly 
fortified posts south of the island ; while the 
northern side is defended by many forts and 
redoubts, in addition to six or seven batteries on 
the mole. It was not possible for the Allies to 
approach sufficiently near to ascertain details ; but 
there is reason to believe that the town and island, 
when visited by the Anglo-French fleets in the 
midsummer of 1854, were defended by 1200 or 
1500 guns of large calibre, besides those belonging 
to the Russian fleet. 

Irritating must it have been to the English 
admiral to know that he was censured in England, 
by hastily judging persons, for leaving Cronstadt 
without a bombardment and a capture. Never 
before had English ships been called upon to 
attack, or to bear an attack from, such stupendous 
granite batteries ; the admiral was responsible to 
the nation for the safety of a fine fleet ; and none 
so well as he could judge at what point heroic 
bravery would become reckless hardihood. 

The Allied fleets returned to Baro Sound early in 
July, after the reconnaissance at Cronstadt. They 
remained at anchor during many days ; and in 
this interval, the admirals weighed maturely the 
probabilities for and against the success of any 
great enterprise. Subsidiary expeditions were sent 
out in many directions ; but the problem to be 
solved was, whether the fleets in a body could 
achieve any signal triumph. Attention was at 
length directed to Bomarsund and the Aland 
Islands. 



Aland or Aland, pronounced ' Oland,' the ' Land 
of Waters,' is the archipelago before adverted to 
as guarding the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. 
It consists of one island, which gives its name to 
the whole group, and a considerable number of 
smaller islands, bearing the names of Ekero, Fb'glo, 
Vordb, Lemland, &c. No less than eighty of the 
islands are by some authorities said to be inhabited. 
The largest, Aland, is about 18 miles long by 14 
broad ; it has an excellent harbour, Yttemas, on the 
shore of which is its chief town, the metropolis 
of the whole group, Bomarsund ' Bar ' or ' Boom 
Sound.' The Alanders, about 15,000 in number, are 
an interesting people. They refuse to be identified 
with Swedes, Fins, or Russians : claiming to have 
a nationality of their own. Employed in farming, 
grazing, fishing, and piloting, they lead an industri- 
ous life, and interest themselves little in the politics 
of their neighbours. Aland boasts of having once 
had its own kings ; but, be this as it may, the 
island was in the fourteenth century an earldom. 
Afterwards it became a kind of fief belonging to 
the Swedish princes. At various times, during the 
eighteenth century, it was taken by the Russians ; 
but after each seizure, restored to the Swedes. In 
1807, the Alanders themselves expelled a Russian 
force. The year 1809, however, witnessed the 
final conquest by Russia, to whom the whole group 
has since belonged. During the later years pre- 
ceding the war, a steamer which plied between 
Stockholm and Finland was wont to moor for one 
night at Sattunga, one of the easternmost of the 
islands, and proceed at early dawn to thread a 
way through the intricate channels which lead to 
the Finnish coast. An eye-witness, speaking of 
the general appearance of the archipelago, says : 
' The passage between these islands, \vith their 
deeply-indented bays, is more like an excursion on 
a lake than on the open sea. It is seldom possible 
to see far, either ahead or astern ; the view is 
either bounded by fresh green meadows, with 
short-legged cattle and sheep feeding on them, by 
nice-looking villages, surrounded by kitchen-gardens 
or by bare desert cliffs of red granite, abounding in 
felspar, among which there stretch hazel-shrubs or 
thin stunted woods of pine.' 

About the middle of June, while the main 
portion of the English fleet was yet in Baro Sound, 
an attack on Bomarsund was planned by Captains 
Hall, Scott, and Buckle, in the Hecla, Odin, and 
Valorous. On the 21st, the three steamers took up 
a position in front of the town, about 2000 yards 
distant, and opened fire. The fortress was heavily 
mounted, and was defended also by two companies 
of riflemen. A brisk cannonade was kept up 
for several hours. The English account of the 
transaction was that two strand-batteries were 
soon silenced ; that scarcely any of the Russian 
shot reached the ships; that all the houses, 
vessels, and ships' stores were burnt or otherwise 
destroyed ; that the ships left when, during the 
night, the fortress was in flames in several places ; 
that the loss of the enemy must have been 



1C8 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



severe and that the Allies had none killed and 
only five wounded. According to the Russian 
version however, a red-hot ball from the fort set 
tiro to one of the ships ; the English did no serious 
dainnirc to the fortress; they were obliged to 
give up the contest and retire during the night ; 
the English loss must have been considerable; 
while the Russians had only two killed and fifteen 
wounded. Such contradictory accounts would be 
embarrassing, were it not that the Journal de 
St Petersburg, during the war, presented so many 
instances of' untruthfulness and glaring exaggera- 



tion. A gallant act was performed by Midshipman 
Lucas on this occasion ; one of the bombs fired 
by the Russians having fallen on the deck of the 
Hecla, Lucas boldly picked it up, and threw it into 
the sea before the fuse had ignited the explosive 
compound within : it was a question of life or 
death for him in either case, whether he touched 
the dread missile or not. 

When Napier and Deschenes sailed westward 
from Baro Sound, there was an evident intention 
to effect something more formidable against 
Bomarsund. Just before leaving this anchorage, 









CRONSTADT. 



the splendid fleet of forty-four ships-of-war (eight 
or ten other vessels being employed on special 
service in different spots) was moored in four 
lines ; all the men were kept in practice ; and 
when, on a signal being given from the flag- 
ship, ' Man and arm boats ' was denoted, 180 boats, 
all fully manned and equipped, would in a few 
minutes speckle the sea, in readiness for any 
enterprise. It was by these means that Napier 
drilled and educated many raw sailors, with whom, 
in the first instance, he was little content. The 
boat-practice was especially attended to. All the 
ships' boats pinnaces, barges, cutters, launches, 
and gigs were marshalled into three squadrons of 
three divisions each ; each division comprising a 
certain number of boats, half of which were armed 
with howitzers. The whole boat-flotilla was placed 
under the command of a senior officer ; while each 
squadron and each division was headed by an officer 
belonging respectively to that squadron or division 
of ships. It was, indeed, a fleet of boats, separate 
from, but subordinate to, the fleet of ships ; having 



its own organisation, and being planned in anti- 
cipation of any exigencies which might render a 
bold attack by such a force expedient. 

On the 18th of July, the fleets weighed anchor, 
left Baro Sound, and steered for Aland leaving 
some of the ships behind, however, to watch the 
movements of the Russians at Sveaborg and 
Cronstadt. They reached Led Sound, south of 
the Aland Islands, on the 21st. On the 22d, the 
Edinburgh, Blenheim, Hogue, Ajax, Amphion, and 
Alban, arrived off the forts of Bomarsund, passing 
beautiful scenery by the way, but requiring deli- 
cate handling to prevent them from going on shore. 
As it was fully expected that Russian troops were 
hidden behind the woods on shore, preparations 
were made to guard the ships from a sudden 
attack ; shot and shell were brought up ready on 
deck, the men were placed at the guns, 10-inch 
guns were loaded with canister-shot, and a screen 
of hammocks was fitted up ; for the ships sailed 
and steamed so close to land on some occasions, 
that 'a biscuit might have been thrown ashore.' 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



169 



The precaution was not unnecessary, for shot and 
shell speedily began to pour forth from Bomarsund, 
which would have wrought great injury if better 
aimed. The admiral, in accordance with instruc- 
tions from home, suspended active operations until 
military reinforcements should arrive ; he therefore 
ordered the ships to retire- beyond reach of the 
guns at Bomarsund, but continued a very careful 
survey of the intricate channels between the 
islands. Two or three of the ships went on shore 
in the narrow passages, and were with difficulty 
liberated. The officers, by the aid of their glasses, 
could observe that the great fort or battery at 
Bomarsund had a double range of casemates ; it 
was built in a curve, commanding the whole sweep 
of the harbour, and had a bomb-proof roofing, 
covered by a layer of sand four feet in depth. 
Besides this, there were two round towers or forts, 
built on elevated spots of ground. A temporary 
strand-battery was also visible on the beach. 

A military reinforcement is adverted to in the 
preceding paragraph. When the admirals had 
fully ascertained, by personal inspection, the 
formidable nature of the granite batteries at 
Cronstadt, Sveaborg, and Bomarsund, and had 
reported their observations to the home authorities, 
the English and French governments resolved on 
affording military aid, in order that land-attacks 
might co-operate with those made by sea. England 
being less extensively a military nation, it was 
agreed that France should send an army to the 
Baltic, in addition to the small body of troops 
originally sent with the fleets ; and that England 
should provide ships in which to convey this 
army. Accordingly, during June, and the first 
half of July, preparations were busily made 
in France ; an army being despatched from the 
interior to Calais, and provided with all the para- 
phernalia of war. The emperor issued a procla- 
mation to his troops on leaving Paris, which was 
posted up extensively in the metropolis, and read 
eagerly by crowds of gazers : it contained the 
usual kind of appeals to the military ardour of the 
nation ; but it also referred in graceful terms to 
the fact a fact so novel that the Parisians could 
barely realise its importance that English ships 
would convey the French troops to the Baltic. 
During the second week in July, Calais was a 
scene of excitement. Regiments of soldiers, stores 
of gunpowder, trains of cannon, wagons of baggage 
and military stores, poured into the town, and 
went successively down to the harbour, where the 
ships were ready to receive them. The transports 
were anchored in the Calais Roads, and received 
their quota of men, horses, guns, and military 
stores through the medium of steamers, which 
loaded either at the port or at the basin. The 
force to be embarked, under the command of 
General Baraguay d'Hillicrs, consisted of two 
brigades, led by Generals Hugues and Gresy ; 
Avith General Niel in command of the engineering 
department. During the brief sojourn at Calais, 
where French soldiers, Calais citizens, and English 



sailors speedily learned to 'fraternise,' the troops 
exhibited their aptness and tact in managing 
the regimental cookery. Selecting a part of the 
ramparts protected from gusts of wind, they dug 
furrows in the earth, six feet long, nine or ten 
inches deep, and five or six in width; tin mess- 
pots, containing meat, potatoes, cabbage, and soup, 
were placed in rows upon a fire of dry chips in 
the furrows ; and the open-air cookery was con- 
ducted with much success. The incident, a trifle 
in itself, was valuable as exemplifying a truth 
frequently made manifest during the war that 
French soldiers have been better schooled than 
English in the apt little contrivances and arrange- 
ments necessary for outdoor encampments. On 
the 15th of July, all embarked on board the 
steamers Garland, Violet, Princess Clementine, 
Princess Helena, Faun, Passe-partout, Cocyte, 
Corse, Fearless, Wildfire, Lizard, Adder, Sprightly, 
Fire-queen, Avon, Dasher, Lucifer, Echo, Douro, 
and one or two others. Most of these belonged 
to the English navy, but some were French, and 
others chartered from a mail-company. The em- 
barkation was superintended by Captain Lefebvre, 
of H.M. S. Dasher. The steamers carried out 
the troops to the English war-ships, which then 
received them for conveyance to the Baltic. The 
emperor of the French, in the screw steam-yacht 
La Reine Hortensc, witnessed the departure. A 
slight accident to one of the ships, in the Downs, 
led to the landing of French troops for a brief 
period at Deal ; where the inhabitants enjoyed 
the novel pleasure of welcoming the soldiers of 
a nation against whom England had so often 
fought. 

On the 30th of July, from the mast-head of the 
Duke of Wellington, Sir Charles Napier's flag-ship, 
at Led Sound, the ships which brought the first 
division of the French troops were descried. 
General Baraguay d'Hilliers came in the Reine 
Hortense ; while the Algiers, 91, Royal William, 
120, St Vincent, 104, and other large ships, brought 
the troops. Courtesies and congratulations speedily 
followed ; visits of ceremony were paid ; admirals 
and generals, English and French, vied with each 
other in friendly demonstrations ; and all felt that 
now, at least, somewhat ought to be achieved to 
give eclat to a campaign which had hitherto been 
deficient in stirring incidents. Admiral Parseval- 
Deschenes issued an order of the day on board 
the French portion of the fleet, intended chiefly 
to prepare the sailors to welcome their military 
associates. In the midst of much enthusiastic 
and over-strained compliment to the fleet for 
what it had effected, the order adverted to the 
military contingent in the following terms : 

' The Russian fleets in their own seas appear to have 
decided not to accept the offer of combat made by the 
Allied fleet. 

Before Cronstadt our task seems to have reduced 
itself to the blockade of 500 leagues of coast. 

The Emperor determined that this should not be 
the case. His Majesty has chosen and pointed out an 
important object to which our cannon and our efforts 



170 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



should be directed. I am happy to announce that 
object to you. 

The brave General Baraguay d'Hilliera comes at the 
land of 10,000 of our valiant troops. 

Tin- Emperor sends his eagles to join our vessels, to 
shew to the regions of the north what can be effected 
by the powerful will of France armed for a noble 
cause the right of the weakest, and the liberty of 
Europe. The navy and the army have long been 
accustomed to rely upon each other, having no other 
rivalry than the desire to be foremost in doing good.' 

The commanders, military and naval, imme- 
diately commenced arrangements for an attack on 
Bomarsund ; they steamed up to the vicinity of 
the fort, to make such reconnaissances as might 
determine the nature of the plan to be adopted. 
Three Russians, escaped from Bomarsund, gave 
information that the fortress contained two 
round towers and a long battery, 1000 troops of 
the line, 350 irregulars, 100 armed convicts, and 
550 artillerymen ; while on various parts of the 
island were 500 riflemen, 700 irregulars, 80 
Cossacks, and 4 field-pieces. The statements of 
deserters, however, are to be received with 
caution ; and the Allies simply made use of this 
information as one among several means of 
arriving at the truth. Some of the ships were 
so placed as to form a cordon round the islands, 
to remain at signal-distance to watch the move- 
ments of the troops on shore, and to cut off all 
supplies of provisions and "ammunition ; while 
others entered the straits or fiords leading up to 
Bomarsund. 

The first week in August witnessed the com- 
mencement of operations. A spot was selected 
at which to land the troops for a little relaxation 
after their confinement on ship-board ; and the 
paddle-box boats and ships' cutters were speedily 
engaged in this duty. The scene was one of great 
excitement; for nearly all the ships furnished a 
contingent of boats for this duty. The French 
troops carried their tent and cooking equipage 
in a compact form : the tent-mess being divided 
among six, each man carried one-sixth part of 
the fittings, including canvas, tent-stick, pegs, tin 
saucepan, kettle, drinking-cups, water-bottles, &c. 
As seven or eight ships-of-war only could bring 
their large guns to bear upon the fortifications of 
Bomarsund, the military arrangements were made 
in conformity with this limitation. The Russians 
concealed their strength as much as possible : no 
men being seen but sentinels relieving guard. 
The only obvious facts were, that large towers, 
which mainly defended the place, were erected on 
the summits of two rocks, each surrounded by a 
ditch ; that at the foot of the one tower was a 
long circular front, half occupied on the left by 
barracks, and the other half on the right by 
casemated batteries ; that a second line of strand- 
batteries had been commenced under the second 
tower, but not brought to completion ; that a third 
tower was visible on an adjacent island ; and that a 
single earthen battery of five pieces of cannon \vas 
placed under the trees, about a mile in advance. 



The actual landing took place on the 8th 
of August, at two points on the island, near 
Bomarsuud. The main body of French, 9000 or 
10,000 in number, landed south of the town, and 
rounded the head of a creek, so as to approach on 
the land or inner side of the fortifications ; while 
a smaller division landed on the north, and wound 
round the head of another creek, which brought 
them into near proximity to their allies. Nearly 
opposite the town, the Penelope, Valorous, Hecla, 
iStromboli, Amphion, &c., took up a position ; while 
other portions of the fleet anchored north and 
south. It was not known whether any vessels 
larger than brigs and schooners had ever before 
threaded the intricate channels leading up to 
Bomarsund ; hence the necessity for great caution 
in steering the majestic war-ships into those 
waters. The town itself, with its fortifications, 
occupies the end of a peninsula jutting eastward, 
and thus has water on the north, east, and 
south. The name of Lumpar Bay or Fiord is 
given to the surrounding waters ; but the Bay of 
Bomarsund itself, open to the south, is a semi- 
circle about half a mile in diameter the shores 
around being for the most part high and well 
wooded. The operations had been delayed some 
days by the non-arrival of the siege-train from 
France ; several French transports, however, 
arrived on the 5th with the guns ; and the ships' 
carpenters, having been previously engaged in 
constructing strong platforms, provided the means 
for landing and moving the guns : insomuch, that 
when, on the 8th, the troops and sappers and 
marines were ready, the guns Avere ready also. 
Meanwhile, the Russian commandant, true to 
the spirit which had dictated the burning of 
Moscow in an earlier Avar, fired most of the 
villages around, and changed the neighbourhood 
to a scene of desolation, apparently with a view 
to reduce to a minimum any advantage derivable 
by the Allies from the possession of those villages. 
The policy was, perhaps, intelligible in another 
sense also : the siege-guns of the French, Aveighing 
45 hundredweights each, had to be dragged two or 
three miles on sledges, over alternations of rocky 
and marshy ground ; and " it Avas important to 
the Russians that the district should afford no 
aid to the enemy's soldiery in this heavy 
work. 

By nine o'clock on the morning of the 8th, the 
disembarkation had been effected, and the troops 
began their preparations for a march to the forts. 
Sir Charles Napier, in the meantime, Avas busily 
moving from place to place, from ship to ship, 
reconnoitring the shore, and signaling orders to 
the various ships of the fleet, of Avhich nearly fifty 
Avere in the immediate vicinity, four-fifths of the 
number being steamers. The small steamers were 
employed in carrying ammunition and provisions 
on shore ; Avhile the larger vessels Avere preparing 
to bring their broadsides to bear upon any assailable 
points. 

To understand the busy operations of nine days, 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



171 



from the 8th to the 16th inclusive, it will be 
necessary to trace them day by day. 

As each French regiment landed, on the 
morning of the 8th, it quickly fell into line, 
and marched through a thick pine-forest and over 
the heights, taking up a camping position for 
the night at a spot about two miles distant from 
the westernmost or inner fort. The fort reared 
its crest at a majestic height, and was evidently 
well calculated to command a wide range of 
country. Napier visited Baraguay d'Hilliers that 
evening at the newly formed camp, and returned 
to his ship before nightfall. The fine brass siege- 
guns belonging to the French were carefully 
landed one by one, as rapidly as the movement 
of such ponderous masses could be effected. The 
northern expedition, or the one which effected a 
landing north of the forts, had, in the meantime, 
made good progress ; it had been intrusted to 
Admiral Plumridge to effect this landing ; and the 
troops, when on shore, were placed under the 
command of Brigadier-general Jones : they com- 
prised about 2000 French troops, aided by British 
marines, artillery, and sappers and miners. They 
speedily attacked a redoubt of five guns, which 
defended the road, the French in front and the 
marines in rear, and captured it at once. They 
took up a position about two miles from Bomar- 
sund, where they encamped, and where, notwith- 
standing the precautions of the commandant, 
the Aland villagers brought them an abundance 
of provisions for sale. The ships were not idle 
during these hours. The Amphion and the 
Phlegethdn were employed in destroying a mud- 
fort, which, from its commanding position, might 
have annoyed the troops during the landing ; on 
being captured, however, it was found that the 
Russians had deserted it. The work was so 
quickly achieved, that the admiral hoisted the 
signal : ' Well done, Amphion.'' The block-ships, 
Edinburgh, Blenheim, Ajax, and Hague, having 
covered the landing of the troops, returned abreast 
of the principal fort, anchoring within range, and 
preparing for an encounter as soon as the military 
arrangements should be completed. The Amphion 
and Phkgethon, after taking the mud-fort, passed 
near the formidable granite casemated battery, 
whence a hot fire immediately proceeded ; and 
during the day, the ships endeavoured to attract 
the attention of the forts as much as possible, that 
the landing of the troops might be unmolested. 

The dawn of early morn on the 9th witnessed 
the active exertions of the soldiery to render their 
temporary encampment comfortable, and to pre- 
pare everything for an approaching bombardment 
of the forts. The shores were lined with boats, 
carrying ammunition and provisions for Baraguay 
d'Hilliers's troops, most of whom were encamped 
inland, while the rest had bivouacked during the 
night on the beach. Guns, carriages, boxes, casks, 
strewed the beach ; peasants' carts and horses 
all of them that could be found were put in 
requisition for the conveyance of baggage up to 



head-quarters ; and all the ducks and geese, pigs 
and sheep, which the Alanders had to sell, the 
French eagerly purchased. The encampment of 
the main body for the night had been near the 
village of Skarpan, built on an eminence situated 
rather less than two miles from the fortress. A 
valley, and a long pond or small lake, intervened 
between the camp and the fortress ; while a range 
of rocks or elevated ground furnished shelter to 
the troops until such time as the breaching- 
batteries could be formed. The French had shewn 
wonderful alacrity in bringing their camp into 
tidy order. ' The tents of the soldiery were 
scattered around the village in every direction 
and position,' said an eye-witness, ' upon rocks 
and mounds, in fields and gardens, in the copse 
and on the heath, on the village-green, and even 
beneath the windmills. Troops of men were 
marching about to the relief of guards and out- 
posts, and foraging-parties were going out in search 
of cattle. A good bakehouse and slaughter-house 
had been already established ; and the vivandieres 
had opened their tents, with a guard to protect 
them, for the sale of little luxuries to the soldiers.' 
It is everywhere the same with the French 
troops : no sooner do they become bivouacked or 
encamped, than they make themselves fairly at 
home. The other military division, under General 
Jones, was encamped not far distant the marines 
and artillery in a ravine, in the midst of a young 
plantation of fir and juniper; and the rest in 
the vicinity, within half a mile of the nearest fort. 
The fleets, on this day, were watching for any 
opportunity to aid the troops, or to protect them 
during the progress of the land-works. Informa- 
tion having been received that the Russians were 
about to send reinforcements to the island from 
the Finnish shore, a good watch was kept ; boats, 
manned and armed, were despatched to intercept 
them ; and the gun-boat Cuckoo was ordered to 
assist. The reinforcements were compelled to take 
shelter on a small intermediate island, where they 
were soon afterwards captured. 

On the 10th, some of the 'blue-jackets' were 
employed on shore-service. It was determined to 
send six guns on shore, to enable General Jones 
to form a breaching-battery : the guns being 
32-pounders, of 42 hundredweights each. The 
carpenters of four of the sliips belonging to 
Admiral Chads's squadron set actively to work to 
make eight sledges, six for the guns and two for 
the carriages and gear. On the 10th, three of 
the guns were safely deposited, with their appen- 
dages. Four sledges were manned, each by 150 
seamen, headed by a senior lieutenant ; and the 
whole commanded by Captain Hewlett of the 
Edinburgh. The situation selected for the battery 
was four miles and a half inland, over wretched 
ground partly steep rocky hills, and the rest 
ploughed fields. At five o'clock in the morning, 
the boats, with the men, guns, sledges, &c., left 
the ships ; the armament landed ; the men erected 
sheers to hoist the guns : they pulled heartily over 



172 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



the terrible region ; and by one o'clock they had 
reached the camp. Admiral Chads, in describing 
this exploit in a dispatch to Sir Charles Napier, 
s;iid : ' The exertions and good-will of the officers 
and seamen created much astonishment in the 
encampment of the French troops, who cheered 
tlu-m in passing, and, on some of the most difficult 
a-'vnts, went in voluntarily and most cheerfully 
to the drag-ropes, and gave them assistance. On 
arriving in camp, the men were much exhausted, 
and lay down to rest and prepare their dinners; 
when an order arrived that they were to embark 



immediately, as the Penelope was on shore under 
the fire of the enemy, and their ships might be 
required. The order was received with cheers ; 
and, forgetting dinners and fatigue, they rushed 
down to their boats in three-quarters of an hour 
by a short route, but close under the enemy's fire.' 
The perilous position of the Penelope, here adverted 
to, was one of the many consequences of the 
narrowness of the channels through which the 
vessels had to steer. In endeavouring to thread 
a labyrinth between Prastb and Tofto, she got on 
a rock in dangerous proximity to Bomarsund. The 







Bomarsund and Neighbourhood. 
Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 6 are French batteries j No. 2, an English battery ; No. 5, a Russian sand-battery. 



great fort immediately opened fire, and continued 
to pour a fierce hot shower for more than two 
hours. The Gladiator, Hecla, and Pigmy imme- 
diately went to her assistance, together with boats 
from the Trident and the Duperre ; the Hecla and 
Gladiator took her in tow, but found her immov- 
able. The position was becoming serious ; for the 
enemy had got her range, and was pouring a 
shower of iron hail both upon her and the Hecla. 
The Edinburgh and Valorous thereupon began 
throwing shells into the fort, to effect a diversion ; 
while Sir Charles Napier ordered all the guns of 
the Penelope to be thrown overboard, as a means 
of lightening her. This proceeding fortunately 
had the desired effect : the Penelope floated, and 
was towed away not, however, until upwards of 
a hundred shot, a few of them red-hot, had been 
fired at her from the great fort, many striking 
either her hull or rigging. 

Each day now brought matters nearer to an 
inevitable crisis. Each day effected something to- 
wards the completion of the military arrangements 



on shore. On the llth, Captain Hewlett finished 
the work he had commenced on the preceding 
day, by conveying on shore and to the camp 
the remaining three siege-guns with their carriages 
and gear. On this occasion, he had 200 men to 
drag each gun the experience of the 10th having 
shewn that 150 were scarcely equal to the severe 
labour. The ships' bands accompanied the men, 
to cheer them at their labour ; and, to use 
the amusing sailor-like language of Admiral 
Chads, ' the spirits of the men were occasionally 
excited by a dropping shot from the enemy.' 
While this was in progress, Sir Charles Napier 
went on shore, drove through the encampment, 
and concerted arrangements with General Baraguay 
d'Hilliers. The troops were engaged in making 
gabions and filling sand-bags, to form a breast- 
work for the batteries of long guns. Skirmish- 
ing commenced between the French and the 
Russians ; for the chasseurs, actively jumping and 
climbing upon every accessible spot, came within 
fighting distance of the Russian outposts ; while 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



173 



the guns from the landward fort poured forth a 
fire whenever a chance presented itself of working 
mischief. A Russian spy, dressed as a Avoman, 
Avas detected in the French camp this day. 

On the 12th, the artillerymen of the chasseurs 
Avere busily employed in filling their shells for the 
mortars : three or four hundred of these shells 
having been accumulated and ranged under the 
shelter of the rocks. The men carried heavy 
planks up to the proper position, laid them 
horizontally on beds of sand, and placed the 
guns upon the platforms thus made. The gabions, 



too large cylinders of light Avicker-Avork were 
filled Avith earth for the defences. During the 
evening, the chasseurs Avorked up so close to 
the fortress, that a formidable encounter became 
imminent. So little Avas previously knoAvn of 
the topography of the district, that General Niel, 
engineering commander, had to form his plans 
from his OAvn reconnaissances ; he scrambled from 
rock to rock, and from tree to tree, Avith a few 
soldiers accompanying him, and shaped his 
plans according to the observations Avhich he 
Avas enabled to make in person. 




Attack on Fort Tzee. 



Before narrating the stirring events of the 
13th and 14th, it may be Avell to describe a little 
more minutely the fortifications of Bomarsund. 
Omitting minor batteries or redoubts, they may 
be regarded as four in number, which, from 
their relative positions, may be called the shore, 
south, north, and Prastb defences. The great 
or shore battery commanded the harbour by 
its formidable convex frontage, casemated for 
a number of guns which the attacking party 
could not at first correctly estimate ; but it Avas 
afterwards found that this Avork Avas defended 
landward as Avell as seaward, having a moat on 
the land-side, and being pierced altogether for 
180 guns. The casemate a bomb-proof chamber 
immediately behind and around each gun, for the 
protection of the artillerymen gave great addi- 
tional strength to this work. The southern fort, 
called Fort Tzee, consisted of two I-OAVS of circular 
casemated batteries, one above the other, each 
pierced for fourteen guns. The diameter of the 
fort was about 100 feet. Above the bomb-proof 



roof was another roof or shed of zinc, pierced 
Avith small holes, through which riflemen could 
command a great sweep of country. The fort was 
constructed of pentagonal blocks of granite, fitted 
Avith great nicety. The northern fort, called 
Fort Nottich, was analogous in character to the 
southern, though differing in details. The Prasto 
fort Avas on the small island of the same name, 
immediately opposite Bomarsund. 

Such were the formidable defences on Avhich 
the French opened fire on the 13th. The forts, 
except the great battery on the shore, Avere a 
kind of sturdy, IOAV, round toAvers ; and it Avas 
evident that they would be capable of offering a 
stubborn resistance. How far cannon-balls could 
avail against granite fortifications, remained to 
be proA T ed. The batteries brought to bear upon 
the Avorks Avere numbered, to identify them. 
Battery No. 1 (French), for four 16-pounders and 
four mortars, Avas placed at about COO yards from 
Fort Tzee, to dislodge the zinc roof and riflemen, 
and to damage the embrasures beloAv. Battery 



174 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



No. 2 (English) was composed of the 32-pounders 
brought from the ships, and was placed only half 
as far distant as the first. Battery No. 3 (French), 
of 30-pounders, was distant not more than 150 
yards from the same fort. A battery, consisting 
not only of guns, but of mounds of earth to protect 
the gunners, could at that spot only be con- 
structed by means of sand-bags and earth-filled 
gabions ; of which many thousand were needed. 
As approached from the land-side, the two round 
forts or towers were encountered before the great 
shore-battery ; and it was necessary to silence 
them before the last named could be safely 
attacked. 

Shortly after daybreak, on the morning of the 
13th, the French, having been actively employed 
since the 8th in bringing up and planting their 
siege-train, and having finished their battery 
No. 1, opened fire on Fort Tzee, and continued 
with very little interruption throughout the day. 
The effect was tremendous, although the guns and 
mortars were few in number ; the shells burst in the 
embrasures and on the roof ; and the face of the 
stone-work was shattered to fragments. Towards 
evening, the Russians exhibited, not for the first 
or the last time during the war, a disregard of 
the honourable principle which usually regulates 
an agreement under flag of truce. A flag was 
hoisted ; General Baraguay d'Hilliers went up 
with a small escort ; a request was made that the 
firing should cease for two hours, that the 
Russians might have an opportunity to bury their 
dead ; and he so far assented as to yield one hour. 
It is understood, in such matters, that the time 
shall be really appropriated in the manner 
specified ; but the Russians, on the contrary, sent 
down to the great fort, and brought up a new 
store of ammunition wherewith to continue the 
struggle. This breach of honour greatly exaspe- 
rated the French commander ; insomuch that he 
refused a second flag of truce, when signaled at a 
later stage of the proceedings. The contest became 
very severe as night approached ; for, on the one 
hand, the French chasseurs, clambering upon the 
rocks, poured a destructive fire of bullets into the 
embrasures of the fort, striking down the Russian 
gunners where they stood ; while, on the other 
hand, Fort Nottich rendered aid to Fort Tzee, by 
sending shells completely over it into the French 
camp. 

The first conquest of any of the forts was 
effected on the 14th. The vigorous firing by the 
mortars and the chasseurs told so severely on Fort 
Tzee, that it surrendered during the forenoon, and 
about fifty men became prisoners. The nimble 
chasseurs appear to have taken the place by 
surprise. General Jones's battery was not at that 
time finished, and could render no aid in captur- 
ing the first fort ; but as the great fort and Fort 
Nottich maintained a vigorous fire, it speedily 
became necessary to attack them. 

During many hours on the 15th, the French, 
secure in the possession of Fort Tzee, were busily 



engaged in erecting on an adjacent elevated spot 
a battery for breaching the great fort. The state 
of Fort Tzee itself had encouraged the Allies to 
persevere in a similar attack on the other forts ; 
for, during a bombardment of about twenty-four 
hours, the granite face of the tower was jagged 
and splintered in all directions, and the sides and 
edges of the embrasures were thickly marked 
by the bullets which the deadly aim of the 
chasseurs had poured into them. The English 
battery was by this time finished, and presented 
a formidable appearance, with its array of sand- 
bags nine or ten feet in height. Although Fort 
Tzee was only 300 yards distant, and Fort Nottich 
750, yet, as the former had just been taken by the 
French, the English turned their guns against 
the more distant fort, and in eight hours succeeded 
in breaching the side opposite to them. The 
battery was manned by seamen and marine- 
artillery from the Hogue, Edinburgh, Ajax, and 
Blenheim, under the direction of Captain Ramsay 
of the first-named vessel. Sir Charles Napier, 
in his dispatch relating to the capture, summed 
it up in these brief words : ' Their fire was beauti- 
ful ! At six P. M., one side was knocked in, and 
the tower surrendered.' It appears that by three 
o'clock the interior of the tower or fort had been 
laid open, and its guns silenced. At six o'clock, 
a white flag having been hoisted, Brigade-major 
Ord was sent to take possession ; he did so; but 
finding that it would not be possible for him to 
maintain his communications with the English 
advanced-posts after daylight, in consequence of 
the proximity of the great fort, he left the place, 
bringing away with him 3 officers and 115 soldiers. 
In the fort he found sixteen 18-pounclers, and two 
32-pounders. The two forts, the second of which 
was thus taken, so much resembled towers, that 
they were described indifferently by either name. 
Meanwhile the ships were preparing to take part 
in the attack on the great fort, which, from its 
proximity to the shore, was more within their 
reach. The Asmodee, PMegethon, Darien, Arrogant, 
Amphion, Valorous, Driver, Bull-dog, Hecla, Trident, 
Duperre, Edinburgh, and Ajax, kept up a well- 
directed fire of shells, which worked much mischief 
on the stern granite fortification. Captain Pelham, 
of the Blenheim, landed a large 10-inch gun, and 
planted it on the earthen battery which the 
Russians had been forced to abandon a few days 
before ; and there he bore with wonderful coolness 
an attack of a formidable character. The crew 
raised a high defence, and kept up a steady fire 
with their one gun against the south-west end of 
the large fort, while the enemy, with a double 
range of heavily shotted and shelled guns, returned 
the fire with far greater force ; shells burst over 
and around the solitary gun, but the blue-jackets 
took matters very cheerfully, throwing themselves 
on the ground until the shells had burst. Captain 
Pelham maintained his position, despite the for- 
midable antagonist against which he had pitted 
himself. In another part of the scene of contest, 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



175 



Fort Tzee, warm work of a different kind was in 
progress during the day. After this fort had been 
taken by the French, and before Fort Nottich had 
yielded to the English, the commandant of this 
latter fort, knowing the danger to be apprehended 
from the presence of the French in the other, 
maintained a fierce fire against it ; and at length 
a shell, falling apparently on a magazine, blew up 
the greater part of the fort with a tremendous 
explosion. 

At length came the day, the 16th of August, 
when the final conquest of Bomarsund was to be 
achieved by the capture of the formidable strand- 
fort. While dawn had yet hardly broken, a force 
was despatched to Fort Nottich, to take the 
prisoners who had surrendered to Captain Ramsay 
at six o'clock on the preceding evening, T^he 
marines and seamen, when they entered the place, 
found three officers and about 100 men ; and these 
prisoners were marched down three miles to the 
beach, there to be placed on board one of the 
ships : the commandant was a colonel in the 
Russian army. As day advanced, the land-batteries 
and the ships' guns kept up a deafening roar, main- 
taining an incessant cannonade against the great 
fort. The arrangements, however, called for much 
caution ; the narrowness of the slip of ground on 
which the French had established their breaching- 
battery, circumscribed the operations, else might 
the ships have fired upon the French troops in 
the endeavour to hit the great fort ; while the 
limited space in the anchorage before Bomarsund, 
and the intricacy of the navigation, prevented 
the ships from making so near an approach as 
could be wished. The fort, replying to the ships 
and to the land-batteries with some of its guns, 
had still a few to point to the audacious one gun 
which Captain Pelhamhad maintained in position 
during the preceding day ; his situation becoming 
perilous, the ships were ordered to increase the 
rapidity of their fire. Seven of the ships, which 
happened to be within range with their 10- inch 
guns, were ordered by Sir Charles to ' give them a 
shot and shell every five minutes' as if he were 
speaking of pills and powders for a sick man. 
This iron torrent, in conjunction with that which 
was being poured out by the French breaching- 
battery, was too much to be borne long : a flag of 
truce was held out, and the place surrendered. 
It was the opinion of Sir Charles Napier, expressed 
in his dispatch, that if the fort had not surren- 
dered on the 16th, the whole place would have 
been reduced to ashes on the 17th, so terrible was 
the power of the breaching-battery which General 
Niel had judiciously placed within 400 yards of 
the fort, and so heavy the weight of metal poured 
in from the ships. Admiral Plumridge, during 
this busy day, was rendering service north-east of 
the town and forts ; he placed, his squadron so as 
to prevent reinforcements from being thrown in 
from the Finland coast a contingency which 
might else have happened ; for the Allies had 
reason to believe that two Russian admirals had 



been sent among the islands, to determine the prac- 
ticability or otherwise of aiding the beleaguered 
forts. It had been intended that Plumridge's 
squadron should aid the attack by shelling the 
north side of Bomarsund ; but finding that he could 
not do so without endangering the men in the 
French breaching-battery, he directed his attention 
to the Prastb fort. Admiral Plumridge, who had 
the Leopard, Hecla, and Cocyte, at his disposal, 
described, in characteristic language, in his 
dispatch to Sir Charles, the tactics he adopted : 
everything is ' beautiful ' to a professional man 
which exhibits efficiency in his own particular 
avocation. He moved his three ships 'into a 
delightful sequestered position, screened from 
observation by the trees on the neck of land to the 
eastward .of the tower ; having the great Bomar- 
sund fort and it in one [in a right line], so that 
our over-shot and shell should fall to the lot of 
Bomarsund. The simultaneous opening fire from 
the three broadsides was the first intimation the 
tower had of our movements ; and I had the satis- 
faction of seeing at times, from aloft, the steadiness 
and precision with which the shot and shell were 
delivered from each vessel. I only regret that the 
trees alluded to obscured us all from your view, 
as I feel almost assured this bit of service would 
have been deemed worthy of better notice than 
it becomes me to give at so short a distance from 
your flag.' 

Meanwhile, Prasto was the scene of separate 
operations. The tower or fort, mounting 20 guns 
in two casemated tiers, and 6 en barbette on the 
roof, had been invested by a combined force of 
French and English marines, with some field- 
pieces, on the 15th ; and on the 16th, it was 
attacked both by this force and by Admiral 
Plumridge's squadron. "When it was known 
that the great fort had yielded, the commandant 
of Prasto hoisted a white flag. The Allies 
approached ; the gates were thrown open ; the 
garrison marched out ; and the whole became 
prisoners of war. These prisoners, numbering 
three officers and about 150 men, were removed 
in one of the ships. 

When the flag of truce was held out from the 
great fort, the admiral sent Captain Hall on 
shore ; and he, in company with an officer from 
Admiral Parseval-Deschenes, and two staff-officers 
from General Baraguay d'Hilliers, entered the fort, 
and received the surrender of the place. The 
three commanders, Napier, Parseval, and Baraguay, 
then went to receive the submission in form. 
The governor, General Bodisco, attempted a parley 
in the first instance ; but nothing less than an 
unconditional surrender being admissible, he gave 
up his sword, and yielded himself and the garrison 
prisoners. Chasseurs poured down from the bat- 
teries on one side, marines and artillerymen from 
the other ; the place was entered, the magazine 
secured, and the prisoners taken. The victors 
demanded the arms, which were brought and 
piled up in the square, near the furnace in which 



176 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



so many of the shot had been made red-hot. All 
the principal generals and admirals on the part 
of the Allies weir drawn up in a brilliant group ; 
the troops formed a line of about half a mile from 
the entrance of the fort to the mole or landing- 
place ; and the Russians, care-worn, dispirited, 
and, in some few rases, fren/ied with drink, were 
marched down to the place of embarkation. From 
a statement made by Governor Bodisco, it appears 
that the Russians had been as much annoyed by 
Captain Pelham's single gun, placed on their own 
abandoned mud-battery, as by whole ranges of 
guns elsewhere so fatal had been the shots aimed 
through the embrasures. The loss of this great 
fortress was the first defeat of consequence the 
Russians had suffered in the Baltic, and they 
were deeply mortified ; for it was not simply a 
surrender of the place, but a yielding of all the 
men as prisoners of war. The victors captured 
112 mounted guns, 3 mortars, 7 field-pieces, and 79 
unmounted guns. When all had surrendered, and 
had been fairly shipped for England, the prisoners 
amounted to the following numbers 323 shipped 
in the Hannibal, 420 in the Algiers, 764 in the 
Royal William, 207 in the Termagant, and 521 in 
the St Vincent; making a total of 2235, of whom 
51 were officers, 28 women, and 13 children. 

Thus fell Bomarsund. The capture was impor- 
tant, not only as giving to the Allies a command 
over the whole of the Aland Islands and the Gulf 
of Bothnia, but for two other reasons the one 
military and the other political, each of which 
deserves a brief consideration. 

The fall of Bomarsund was, to military engineers, 
a subject of interest, inasmuch as it tended to 
throw some light on a disputed question. Whether 
granite batteries or earthen mounds are better 
calculated to resist the fire from guns of large 
calibre, is a problem which has much engaged 
the attention of military men in recent times. 
The various defensive operations at Kalafat, 
Oltenitza, Giurgevo, and Silistria (Chapter II.), 
had, in the latter part of 1853 and the first six 
months of 1854, shewn how wonderfully the Turks 
were able, when posted behind hastily constructed 
earthen breast-works, to repel repeated attacks 
from large bodies of Russians ; and now the fall of 
Bomusund seemed to shew that hard granite could 
not maintain its soundness against an iron torrent 
from great guns. General Niel, the engineering 
commandant in the French force, formed a high 
estimate of the powers of iron against granite. He 
said : ' All the parapets are built of large blocks 
of granite found on the spot ; from a considerable 
distance a cannon-ball is crushed against these 
walls, but in the end the walls themselves are 
shaken and broken. The results obtained by the 
16-pound guns at 550 metres, and by the 
32-pounders at 750, remove all doubt that at 
smaller distances a breach may easily be made in 
walls of this description.' The validity of this 
opinion was much canvassed when, at a later date, 
the admiral was inconsiderately reproached for 



not effecting more in other parts of the Baltic. 
True it was, however, that the effects wrought 
surprised even the engineers themselves. The 
breach made in Fort Nottich by the English 
battery was frightful ; although from a distance 
of 750 yards, the balls and shells had literally 
knocked down the west side of the fort, clearing 
a space through which eight men could have 
entered abreast. The Ajax and the Edinburgh threw 
84-pound shot with amazing power ; but the dis- 
tance nearly two miles was too great to effect a 
large amount of destruction. An officer who was 
present at the siege, writing a letter concerning it, 
said : ' I saw the effect of some of our 68-pound 
and 84-pound shot. The blocks of granite in the 
face of the walls are, on an average, about four 
cubic feet thick. These were backed by four more 
feet of solid brick-work. In many places, when 
our shot struck from a distance of 1700 yards, one 
of these blocks would split in all directions, and be 
driven back an inch into the breast-work, that 
was cracked and forced into the interior of the 
fort. You can hence readily understand how it 
is that a continued repetition of such blows as the 
foregoing will soon crumble down the thickest 
masonry. Nothing can withstand the iron storm 
of a ship's broadside. I do believe its effect is 
tremendous, and stone-work powders before its 
force.' 

The political significancy of the fall of Bomarsund 
consisted in the evidence thereby afforded of the 
deeply hidden, long-enduring ambition of the Czar 
Nicholas. Greatly as the Allies were surprised at 
the strength of the place, they had yet more 
reason to wonder at the vast works which were 
evidently planned. Documents fell into their hands 
which tended to shew that the Bomarsund of 1854 
was an insignificant fortress compared with that 
which it had been intended to become. There were 
plans and drawings to shew that the complete 
scheme comprised ten or twelve forts as large 
as those actually constructed : the foundations of 
many of which had been begun, and a large 
expenditure incurred. What could have been the 
purport of such a gigantic scheme ? What enemy 
could Russia fear in a sea of which half the coast 
was in her own possession 1 These questions were 
of grave moment for Europe. The evidence was 
incontrovertible, that the works were intended 
not to defend conquests already made but to 
serve as a stepping-stone to the acquisition of more ; 
not to repel enemies already existing, but to crush 
any who might oppose an intended additional 
course of conquest. Bomarsund commands the 
Aland Islands ; the islands command the Gulf of 
Bothnia and the vicinity of Stockholm ; and it is 
impossible to avoid seeing how powerful an instru- 
ment would thus be obtained to aid in the future 
conquest of Sweden. The Allies, it is true, obtained 
no evidence that such a project was entertained ; 
but the silent way in which the great fortress had 
been reared, almost unknown to the Western 
Powers, afforded ground for suspicion that a wide 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



177 



scheme of conquest or acquisition on the Baltic 
shores lurked in the bosom of the ambitious czar. 
Among the numerous dispatches sent to the Allied 
governments respecting the capture, one dwelt in 
forcible terms on the importance of Bomarsund as 
a military post. ' Judging from the nature of the 
works existing, those partly erected, and the foun- 
dations of others which have been laid, it was 
evidently the intention of the Russian government 
to have erected a first-rate fortress. The position 
of Bomarsund at the entrance of the Gulfs of 
Finland and Bothnia, with a beautiful and exten- 
sive anchorage, well sheltered, points it out as a 
position of the most favourable nature ; and no 
expense apparently has been spared in the con- 
struction of the works already built ; while the 
walls of those partly erected are of the same sub- 
stantial nature.' Brigadier-general Jones at the 
same time pointed out that the position of Bomar- 
sund is naturally very strong, and favourable for 
defence : bold and rocky, with a fine command of 
the ground in its immediate front. If occupied 
with suitable advanced works, and if fully gar- 
risoned, its capture would have required a long 
course of siege-operations and a large military 
force. Indeed, the speedy fall of Bomarsund 
surprised the Allies themselves, when they became 
acquainted with the formidable strength of the 
place ; the injury sustained by the great fort, 
unbrcached, well casemated, and sufficiently gar- 
risoned, was comparatively so small, that the 
governor might unquestionably have held out for 
a considerable length of time; but, on the other 
hand, the arrival of reinforcements was effectually 
stopped ; the gradual destruction of the greater part 
of the garrison was nearly certain ; and Governor 
Bodisco appears, unlike many other Russian gene- 
rals, to have considered that honourable surrender 
was better than a hopeless struggle. At a later 
date, the British minister of war, while claiming 
credit to the Allies for an achievement in which 
the whole garrison had been defeated with a loss 
of little more than twenty French and English, 
characterised Bomarsund as a fortress 'to which, 
in a few years, Sveaborg and Cronstadt would 
have been as nothing ; in its harbour and under 
its guns, the whole fleet of Russia would have been 
able to lie in security. Had Bomarsund not been 
destroyed, in a few years the Gulf of Bothnia 
would have become a Russian lake, and Stockholm 
would at any moment have been at the mercy of 
Russia.' The destruction of such a stronghold was 
not the only important result of the capture : it 
was little less important to open the eyes of Europe 
to the gigantic but stealthy steps of the northern 
potentate. 

The arrival in England of most of the Russian 
prisoners taken at Bomarsund excited a lively 
interest. Forty years had elapsed since the popular 
talk had been of war prisons and prisoners ; and 
the novelty was rendered none the less striking 
by the circumstance that the prisoners on this 
occasion were Russians, or ^partly Russians and 



partly Finlanders. It was a subject of comment, 
as marking the national characteristics of the two 
bodies of men, that the Russians and Fiulanders 
kept aloof from each other during the voyage from 
the Baltic to England : each appeared to regard 
the other with a feeling compounded of dislike and 
contempt. As the ships came to anchor at Sheer- 
ness, it was seen that the humanity which lessens 
the horrors of modern warfare had not been 
forgotten ; the wives of the officers had been 
permitted to accompany their husbands, and all 
had been treated as kindly as circumstances would 
allow. They were retained off Sheerness until 
preparations had been completed for their recep- 
tion some at Plymouth, in military barracks, 
converted for a time into a war-prison ; and the 
remainder at Lewes, in a building formerly the 
county House of Correction. The Lewes division 
attracted much attention in England. The men 
were mostly Finlanders ; while their officers 
comprising a major, three captains, five lieu- 
tenants, and four 'younkers' or cadets were 
Russians descended from German or French 
families, and were mostly, like the Swedes and 
Northern Germans, adherents of the Lutheran 
Church. The largest apartment in the building 
was appropriated as a dining-room, and as a 
church on Sundays ; the smaller rooms were set 
apart as dormitories, three prisoners to each ; 
a few rooms were fitted up for some of the 
men skilled in useful handicraft trades; while 
a large shed was constructed for those many 
in number who could carve out ingenious toys 
and trinkets for sale to visitors. Most of the men 
could speak a little Swedish and Russian, besides 
their native Finnish ; and they exhibited gene- 
rally an amount of education, in regard to reading 
and writing, superior to that possessed by English 
soldiers a characteristic which, little flattering to 
our credit as a nation, imparts an additional 
interest to the country of the Fins, placed as it is 
on a perilous border-land between the Russian and 
Swedish territories, and exposed to the certainty 
of much devastating war in any collision between 
those two monarchies. The prisoners, during their 
detention in England, behaved for the most part 
with steadiness and order. 

"While the captives from Bomarsund were on 
their way to the land of their captors while the 
English and French nations were exchanging 
congratulations on the important achievement 
the Allied generals and admirals were called upon 
to decide on the line of conduct to be pursued 
towards the Aland Islands and their inhabitants. 
There is no evidence that the "Western Powers had 
previously agreed on the course to be adopted in 
such a contingency ; unity of plan was difficult of 
attainment where two governments claimed to 
have an equal voice in all important proceedings ; 
and on this account, at Aland, as well as at other 
parts of the seat of war, the commanders were 
frequently at a loss to interpret faithfully the 
Avishes of their respective governments. After the 



178 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



fall of Bomarsund, the Allied commanders issued 
the following proclamation to the Alanders : 

1 We the undersigned Commanders-in-Chief of the 
combined naval and land forces, hereby authorise the 
authorities of these islands to continue in the admini- 
stration of their respective duties, and we rely on their 
doing so with zeal and circumspection. 

In times of tumult and war, it devolves upon every 
well-disposed citizen to do his utmost in maintaining 
order and peace ; the lower classes must not be led 
away with the belief that no law or order exists, for 
these will be enforced with as much rigour as 
heretofore. 

Since the late events, which have changed the aspect 
of these islands, the blockade has been raised, and the 
public are informed that they are at liberty to trade 
with Sweden on the same conditions and privileges as 
heretofore. 

Each and every one is cautioned against holding any 
communication or intercourse with the enemy or Fin- 
land ; and if any one is found aiding them in any way, 
he will be punished most severely.' 

During these transactions in and near Bomar- 
sund, small detachments of ships were cruising in 
.various parts of the two gulfs ; either watching for 
any traces of movement on the part of the Russian 
fleet, or ascertaining the bearings, soundings, and 
defences of Russian ports on the coast. One such 
duty devolved on Captain Scott. This officer 
received orders, on the 18th of August, to cruise 
around the islands, as a means of obtaining infor- 
mation concerning troops, gun-boats, or other forces 
belonging to the Russians. The Odin, Alban, 
Gorgon, and Driver, under his charge, had full 
experience of the difficulties of Aland navigation ; 
they all went on shore, two of them frequently, 
and were not without much trouble extricated : 
their boats and their sounding-lines being in con- 
stant requisition. When cruising near Kumlinge, 
Asterholm, and other small islands, he could learn 
nothing respecting troops or gun-boats, but received 
information that a small steamer from Abo was 
somewhere in the vicinity. Abo is on the Finland 
coast, not far from the point which separates the 
t\vo Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, and in a direc- 
tion nearly east of Bomarsund, whence the distance 
is about 70 miles in a straight line. The ships, 
extricating themselves from the narrow channels, 
struck across to Abo, where Scott saw a small 
steamer, and a body of troops in several gun- 
boats. Having approached within 3000 yards, the 
Alban stood in to sound, and there found the 
harbour closed in an ingenious way by a chain 
laid on a floating platform, a range of stakes and 
booms, nearly twenty gun-boats placed at intervals, 
and four steamers under shelter of the headlands. 
The ships opened fire, which was speedily returned 
by the gun-boats, and by masked batteries winch 
had not before been detected. The object in view 
being to make reconnaissances rather than i 
capture, Captain Scott returned to Led Sound, to 
report his observations. 

A military force being in the Baltic waters, the 
Allies felt that a speedy decision concerning other 
operations was necessary; for neither on a con- 



quered island nor on shipboard could an army earn 
glory or obtain advantages. The demolition.of the 
forts at Bomarsund was the first work to be done. 
The vast constructions on which Nicholas had spent 
so many millions of rubles, and so many years of 
time, were doomed to destruction. All the forti- 
fications of Bomarsund were to be reduced to a 
shapeless mass of stone and brick. It was about 
a fortnight after the conquest that the demolition 
commenced. The fort which Admiral Plumridge 
had attacked, Fort Prasto, and which, from its 
position, had nad little influence on the progress of 
the struggle at the main stronghold, was blown 
into atoms by a large store of powder placed 
beneath it. The other three forts, nearer the 
town, had already suffered severely; the work of 
destruction was already half effected ; nevertheless, 
they were blown up by a succession of explosions, 
and many a scene of terrific grandeur was pre- 
sented granite blocks flying up, timbers blazing, 
and unspent shells bursting. The wives of about 
a hundred Russian officers and men were safely 
conveyed by the Alban to the coast of Finland 
near Abo. The poor Alanders were benefited in 
some degree, in their forlorn desolation, by receiving 
all the stores of corn and meal which, in immense 
quantity, had been found in the forts ; the peasants 
were allowed to come and take it away in carts, as 
a reserve against possible starvation in the ensuing 
winter. A part of one of the forts was left standing 
for a time, that Admiral Chads might have an 
opportunity of trying the power of his guns against 
it ; the Edinburgh was brought up, with its 
broadside about 500 yards distant, at which range 
the shot made a thorough breach in the walls, 
knocking several embrasures into one, and splinter- 
ing the granite in all directions ; the ship then 
retired to a distance of 1000 yards, a change Avhich 
materially affected the potency of the shot. "When 
the work of destruction was completed, the soldiers 
embarked in the various troop-ships, and returned 
to Led Sound ; guns and trophies being carried 
away, some by the French, and some by the 
English, and only a few ships remaining for a 
time at Bomarsund. 

The time had now arrived for the military com- 
manders to assist the admirals with their judgment 
concerning the possibility or impossibility of 
capturing Helsingfdrs and its great fortress Svea- 
borg (Sweaburg). The army was too large to be 
profitably employed in cruising about among 
unimportant places : was it powerful enough 
to capture a second of the czar's strongholds, 
in size and in strength more formidable than 
Bomarsund ? Many of the ships belonging to 
the fleet had passed and repassed Sveaborg 
frequently during the summer, partly to examine 
its fortifications, and partly to tempt the Russian 
fleet to emerge from its granite hiding-place. 
Rear-admiral Martin, with a squadron of twelve 
or fourteen ships, was, at the time of the siege of 
Bomarsund, employed in a double service : his 
larger ships were anchored off the island of Nargeu, 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



179 



in the Gulf of Finland, blockading the port of 
Eevel ; while his smaller steamers were cruising 
between Eevel and Sveaborg, offering a tempting 
bait for the Russian ships to come out and attack 
them a bait, however, Avhich failed in its purpose, 
both here and in every other part of the Baltic 
throughout the year. Later in the month, Martin 
assumed the command of a flying squadron in 
the Gulf of Bothnia ; while Plumridge brought a 
large reinforcement to the blockading squadron 
in the Gulf of Finland. General Baraguay 
d'Hilliers, Brigadier-general Jones, and the two 
admirals-in-chief, went in a steamer to examine 
carefully Sveaborg and the Finnish coast. Abo, 
as Captain Scott had before reported, was found 
to be well defended, both by gun-boats and by 
land- batteries ; the ships of the Allies were 
amply powerful to destroy or take it, could they 
have approached sufficiently near ; but this was 
one among many examples furnished during the 
year in which gun-boats would have rendered 
more service than ponderous ships-of-the-line ; the 
channel for deep-draught shipping into Abo was 
too narrow to warrant an entry by vessels-of-war 
drawing so many feet of water. As the reconnoi- 
tring steamer rounded Hango Head, on the way 
from Abo to Sveaborg, the Allied commanders 
found that the Russians had destroyed the fortifi- 
cations which defended that headland, fearful lest 
the enemy might capture and retain it. Fort 
Meyerfeld had first been blown up ; next, Fort 
Gustaf Adolf ; and, lastly, the main defence, Fort 
Gustafsvarn : the entire garrison, and many 
country-people, having been employed in this 
work of demolition. The Allied commanders 
then advanced to Sveaborg, the inspection of 
which was long and earnest; for they knew 
that they would be called upon to justify their 
proceedings, whether those proceedings involved 
or not an attack on the island-fortress. 

This famous stronghold rendered famous by 
the knowledge acquired in 1854, for it was little 
known to the "Western nations before that year 
is in effect a group of islands. To understand its 
arrangement, the distinction between Helsingfors 
and Sveaborg must be clearly apprehended. 
Helsingfors, the capital of the Russian government 
of Finland (Abo was the capital when Finland 
belonged to Sweden), is situated at the mouth 
of the river Vanna or "Wanna, on the north coast 
of the Gulf of Finland, at about one-third of the 
distance from Hangb to Cronstadt. The town 
was built by Gustavus I. of Sweden ; it was 
burned during the war with Russia in 1728, but 
rebuilt. When Finland was ceded to, or rather 
forcibly taken, by Russia in 1808, Helsingfors was 
selected as the site for a powerful naval station. 
The town underwent a remodelling in 1815 
masses of rock being blown up, and inequalities 
levelled, to obtain space for new buildings. The 
governor's residence, the barracks, the univer- 
sity, and the assembly-rooms, are all spacious 
and elegant buildings. The defences are of a 



formidable nature, and have evidently engaged 
much attention on the part of the Russian govern- 
ment. There are two forts on the mainland 
Braborg and Ulricaborg, defending and partly 
enclosing a port in which sixty line-of-battle ships 
might safely lie at anchor. The outer works, 
built on a series of islands, bear the collective 
name of Sveaborg ; the islands are seven in 
number, all fortified in immense strength, and 
some of them connected by bridges. The forts 
altogether mount nearly 1000 guns ; while complete 
accommodation is provided for a garrison of at least 
12,000 men. Some of the most formidable of the 




Map of Sveaborg. 

works have been constructed in the solid rock; 
and the barracks, arsenals, and magazines are on a 
complete scale. 

The scrutiny of Sveaborg by the Allied com- 
manders, from such a sea-distance as could be 
safely maintained, resulted in a decision that the 
stronghold could not be advantageously attacked. 
Between the islands which constitute Sveaborg, 
only one war-ship can pass at a time ; and any 
hostile vessel, sailing up to Helsingfors, would 
encounter the muzzles of 300 or 400 large pieces 
of ordnance, which would effectually riddle the 
hull, if not set the ship on fire, ere the perilous 
passage had been completed, unless some unforeseen 
and fortuitous occurrence aided the adventure. 
It seemed to the commanders that a powerful 
army, lauding at a short distance, and encircling 
Helsingfors, could alone, by drawing off much 
of the defensive power in that direction, enable 
the fleet to succeed in an attack sea-ward : an 
opinion analogous to that which had before been 
formed concerning Cronstadt. At a later date, 
Sir Charles Napier, indignant at accusations which, 
somewhat hastily and ungenerously, had been 
brought against him concerning his want of success 
in the Baltic, communicated to the Times a plan 
and a letter, in which the danger of the region 



180 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



around the fortress, by reason both of the shoals 
and the batteries, was forcibly depicted.* 

Knt ire unanimity of opinion was not mani- 
fested ; but the weight of judgment, on the part of 
the Allied generals and admirals, tended towards 
the abandonment of any plans of attack on 
Svraborg or Cronstadt, and of any further mili- 
tary operations in the Baltic. General Baraguay 
d'JIilliers came from France with an army ; he 
aided the admirals to achieve one conquest ; he 
earned for himself a field-marshal's baton ; and 
then the army returned to France. This decision, 
made during the first week in September, dashed 
the hopes of many of the eager spirits left behind, 
who foresaw that no other great conquest was 
likely to mark the close of the summer or autum- 
nal operations. On the 9th of the month, the 
Hecla, Driver, Gladiator, and Asmodee, with five 
troop-transports, reached the Sound from Bomar- 
sund, bearing a portion of the French army ; the 
steamers towing the transports. About 1600 men 
reached Cherbourg on the 14th ; others followed 
in a few days; and thus ended the military 
expedition to the Baltic. 

When the troops had gone, Admirals Napier and 
Parseval-Deschenes moved their main naval force 
from Led Sound to Baro Sound and Nargen 
Island, guarding the Gulf of Finland. During the 
whole of August, a squadron of nine English and 
two French liners had been anchored off Nargen, 
blockading Revel, but without any active service ; 
while the steamers Imperieuse, Euryalus, Arrogant, 
Magidenne, and Rosamond, had been cruising 
about the gulf, watching for any tokens of the 
enemy, in the shape either of merchantmen or 
ships-of-war. Some of the war-steamers, when 
at anchor, practised at targets in the absence of 
any more formidable opponents, and proved the 
wonderful force of the 68-pound shot, when 
vomited forth by 10-inch guns, even at a distance 
of a mile and a quarter. The whole of September 
passed as August had done, witnessing this large 
squadron in stationary inactivity near Nargen ; 
with this exception, that the equinoctial gales 
commenced about the middle of the month, and 
presented a foretaste of the qualities of the stormy 
Baltic. On the 21st, Sir Charles Napier arrived 
from the anchorage at Led Sound, with the 
greater part of the ships there stationed. Admiral 

' I send you a chart of Sveaborg and Helsingfors, and a plan 
of their fortifications, shewing the adjacent islands and sunken 
rocks. 

Shew them to any naval officer, young or old (and you must 
know many), and ask him if it is possible in winter to place buoys 
and beacons on those rocks and shoals ; to conduct a fleet alongside 
the batteries of Sveaborg, having neither gun- boats nor mortar-boats 
to cover the approach of the vessels and boats ; to place the buoys 
n the sunken rocks, all of which are within range of the enemy's 
Batteries. It will require several days for this operation, and they 
will be under fire night and day. 

The Russians themselves could not navigate these seas without 
beacons, and they are all removed. 
During the time the process of buoying is going on, the fleet 

e at anchor among the outer rocks. 

magine to yourself, sir, a south-west gale coming on (and in the 

jrtthout warning), and judge what would become of your 

i ?K B \"- aml mortar b ats. A great number of the former 

ivcn on the rocks, and the latter would either bo 

swamped or obliged to take refuge in the enemy's harbour.' 



Chads's squadron had been at and near Led 
Sound during a period of nine weeks ; Admiral 
Plumridge's squadron had occupied the Nargen 
anchorage seven weeks ; and it now became 
evident that many of the ships were on the eve 
of departure, some for England, and some for 
France ; the rest would remain, cruising and 
watching, until ice and snow, storms and wind, 
.should render further sojourn in those seas peril- 
ous. The Aland Islands, in accordance with 
instructions from the English and French govern- 
ments, Avcre left to be re-occupied by the Russians, 
after the complete destruction of all the defences 
even down to the granite slabs which had been 
shaped ready for building. 

October opened amid some dissatisfaction in the 
fleet that more prizes and more honour had not 
been Avon, and much complaining in England that 
more Russian fortresses had not been taken or 
destroyed. Admiral Plumridge's squadron had 
already departed for England; while the ships 
yet in the Gulf of Finland began to experience 
daily indications of winter in biting winds and 
driving sleet. Most of the departing ships stopped 
awhile in Kiel harbour ; until, by the middle of 
the month, a really formidable fleet had there 
accumulated. The Danes and Holsteiners mar- 
velled at this proceeding ; they saw the great 
armaments return to the place whence they had 
sailed and steamed just six months before ; and 
they could hear of nothing further than the 
destruction of one single Russian fortress, as 
the summer's work of the largest fleet ever 
borne on the bosom of the Baltic. The old 
men among them remembered that Nelson had 
bombarded Copenhagen with a fleet scarcely so 
large as that which now lay at anchor in Kiel 
harbour, and which was only one section of the 
Allied force. The Danes received the English 
kindly and heartily when the latter went ashore ; 
nevertheless, they wondered much, and asked 
themselves and others whether the governments 
or the admirals were responsible for the paucity 
of achievements. 

While the bulk of the fleet was yet at Nargen, 
several English seamen arrived who had been 
taken prisoners by the Russians. As their treat- 
ment had been kind, a brief narrative of the 
imprisonment is due to the Russian officers and 
to the Finlanders. When the attack on Gamle 
Karleby was made (June 7th), one of the boats 
belonging to the Vulture having run foul of a 
sunken vessel, the men in her were captured and 
taken ashore. All who had been wounded in the 
strife were carefully attended to in an hospital 
at Gamle Karleby, while the rest were sent on 
to Helsingfors. The invalids -were abundantly 
supplied by the inhabitants with coffee, tea, bread, 
butter, seed-cake, beef, fish, rice, and potatoes ; and 
when the poor fellows found the black rye-bread 
distasteful, one of the officers caused white bread 
to be made fur them daily at his own expense. 
General Wendt, the commandant, came or sent to 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



181 



them every day, and furnished supplies of wine, 
pipes, and tobacco. When the men had somewhat 
recovered, they were supplied each with a new 
blue cloth suit, new shoes, woollen socks, and a 
cap. Those who died of their wounds were 
buried in the church-yard the funeral being 
attended by the officers and principal inhabitants. 
After staying at Karleby five weeks, kindly treated 
in all things, they were suddenly removed to 
Imola, about seventy miles inland, on account of 
the approach of the English steamer Leopard. 
While at Imola, they wore an hospital-dress and 



had soldiers' rations, but were allowed to mingle 
freely with the kind-hearted peasantry. On the 
21st of September, consequent on an arrangement 
respecting exchange of prisoners, they were sent 
in light spring-carts from Imola to Abo, whence 
they were despatched to Led Sound in a small 
steamer, and thence by one of the larger vessels 
to Nargen. 

The admiral-in-chief received a dispatch, about 
the middle of the month, ordering him to send 
the principal part of his remaining ships to 
Kiel, on their way to England. Consequent on 




RIGA. 



this order, the Duke of Wellington, St Jean 
d 'Acre, James Watt, Princess Royal, Blenheim, 
Hogue, Edinburgh, Royal George, Nile, Caesar, 
Majestic, and Cressy, weighed anchor, and com- 
menced their westward journey on the 19th. 
During several days, the weather was boisterous, 
insomuch that the ships were scattered, and each 
captain steered towards Kiel without waiting for 
the others : it was not until the 28th that all 
assembled in the rendezvous off Kiel. A squadron 
of steamers, including the Imperieuse, Euryalus, 
Arrogant, Magicienne, Desperate, Basilisk, Bull-dog, 
and Dragon, under Captain Watson, was left 
to maintain the blockade in the Gulf of Finland 
down to the latest date the season would permit. 
In respect to the Gulf of Bothnia, the blockade 
was formally raised during the last week in the 
month. 

The gloomy month of November arrived. A 
fleet of great power was anchored off Kiel ; but as 
the officers had few duties to perform, they asked 
and obtained permission to land and visit 



Hamburg, Berlin, and other places within acces- 
sible distance. Invalids and supernumeraries were 
sent home. Every ship at Kiel was provided, 
by stores sent out from England, with rations and 
all other necessaries to last until the end of 
December ; and the admirals and officers, marines 
and soldiers, had little further occupation than to 
think of home. The numbers on board the fleet 
equalled the entii-e population of Kiel ; hence it is 
not surprising that the prices of everything pur- 
chased at that town rose enormously, rendering it 
a costly place to those whose pay was so applied. 
The winter set in unusually early, insomuch that 
the head of the bay exhibited a considerable 
surface of ice, even by the middle of November, 
and skating had commenced on the ponds on 
shore. About the third week in the month, the 
ships at Kiel were thirteen in number, mounting 
more than 1100 guns, and containing 10,000 men; 
while seven steamers -were still blockading the 
ports in the Gulf of Finland. From time to time, 
telegraphic dispatches arrived from England ; 



182 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



consequent upon which the largo ships, two or 
three at a time, left Kiel homeward-bound. 

The last month of the year witnessed the final 
separation and departure of this great armament. 
In the first week of December, Captain Watson 
announced that the state of the ice in the Gulf 
of Finland was such as, in virtue of his instructions, 
warranted him in steaming away towards Kiel ; 
which he accordingly did. Some of the larger 
ships about the same time steered towards the 
Sound, ready for orders to take their final departure. 
Those orders speedily came ; and Christmas-day 
witnessed the presence of all, or nearly all, the 
ships and crews on English shores. Sir Charles 
Napier himself lauded at Portsmouth on the 18th 
of December, where he was received kindly and 
heartily by the inhabitants. On the last day of 
the year, the Duke of Wellington, James Watt, 
Hague, Blenheim, Imperieuse, Arrogant, Penelope, 
and Locust were at Portsmouth ; the St Jean 
of Acre, Princess Royal, Nile, Ccesar, and Euryalus 
at Devonport ; the Edinburgh, Cruiser, Archer, and 
Magidenne at Leith ; the Odin at Woolwich ; the 
Cressy, Majestic, Royal George, and Amphion at 
Sheemess ; the Conflict and Desperate at Hull ; the 
Bullrdog at North Shields ; the Dragon, Rosamond, 
Basilisk, and Vulture at Cromarty ; and the Driver 
at Harwich. 

Thus ended the operations in the Baltic in 1854 
operations which had involved large military 
and naval arrangements ; which had called into use 
a, larger fleet than had ever before entered tne 
Baltic ; which had been commenced amid the most 
extravagant anticipations, by the English nation, of 
great results ; which had entailed a vast outlay ; 
and which had ended in much disappointment to 
the nation, the officers, and the men. It will 
be necessary to touch briefly here upon two 
points the effects produced on Russia and her 
dominions ; and the natui'e of the discontent 
produced at home. 

When the Allied commanders resolved to 
abandon the Aland Islands, the Russians lost no 
time in regaining possession. The last English ships 
having withdrawn towards the close of October, 
the Alanders became somewhat dejected, knowing 
that their old masters would soon return. This 
return took place about the middle of November ; 
and the postal communication between Stockholm, 
Aland, and Finland, was also re-opened. One of 
the local authorities from Aland was summoned 
to Finland, to justify or explain a too favourable 
tendency which he was supposed to have exhi- 
bited towards the invaders ; and it was with 
difficulty that he escaped punishment. Evidence 
was afforded that spies in the Russian service 
were near Bomarsund during the occupation of 
the Allies, disguised in various ways : their duty 
consisted in watching not so much the English 
and French, as the Alauders and Swedes. In 

'far as concerned the Aland Islands, the Allies 
gained nothing and the czar lost nothing by the 
campaign of 1854, except the destruction of the 



works at Bomarsund. There was just time, 
before the ice set in, to import merchandise from 
Sweden into Finland, after a stoppage of all trade 
for many months : the blockade was somewhat 
too early raised in this particular ; and the Rus- 
sians, or the Finlanders in their service, neglected 
not to avail themselves of such an advantage. 
At Revel, when the inhabitants found that the 
blockade was stopped and the hostile ships gone, 
they were overjoyed; the authorities sent out to 
the island of Nargen to ascertain in what the 
Allies had been employed during their sojourn ; 
small trading-ships brought cargoes of tar, fire- 
wood, salt, herrings, and other commodities ; and 
the townsmen were in a position to congratulate 
themselves that the enemy had wrought but little 
harm upon the town and port, except that which 
had arisen from stagnation of trade. They could 
scarcely believe that they had really escaped, 
for that year, the horrors of a bombardment : 
rejoicings and festivities marked their sense of 
the release. The military commandant at Riga, 
during the summer, had sunk at the entrance 
to the port several vessels laden with large 
blocks of granite ; and it became evident that the 
Allies would have encountered much difficulty 
in forcing a passage into that port through such 
obstacles. The Russian fleets at Helsingfdrs and 
Cronstadt emerged cautiously from behind their 
granite screens as soon as the Allies had departed, 
to reconnoitre and possibly pick up a few of the 
enemy's smaller cruisers ; but some of these war- 
vessels received considerable damage, owing to the 
tempestuous condition of. the Gulf of Finland; 
and all speedily returned, to lie up for the 
winter. Large numbers of labourers were set 
to work, in repairing the road between Abo, 
Helsingfb'rs, and St Petersburg, to facilitate the 
transport of heavy stores. The military and naval 
commanders were summoned to the capital, to 
report minutely on all that had occurred, and 
to receive instructions concerning new defensive 
works at Cronstadt, Sveaborg, Helsingfors, Abo, 
Revel, and Riga. In short, exception being made 
of the destruction of Bomarsund and the inter- 
ruption to trade, the Emperor of Russia had not 
much cause to lament the presence in the Baltic 
of the fleets from the West. 

Proportionably great, however, was the disap- 
pointment felt in England. A severe punishment 
to the czar was that for which the English nation 
had hoped, and, as was considered, had paid ; 
insomuch that, when the punishment was found 
to have been light, the nation felt as though there 
had been a breach of contract, a departure from 
a fair bargain. The disappointment found vent 
rather in newspapers than at public meetings or 
in parliament. It was asserted that our wooden- 
walls, during the old wars, had proved sufficiently 
powerful to cope successfully with strong for- 
tresses ; that impregnability had never been 
admitted in our former attacks ; that the finest 
fleet which ever left our shores should have 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE ALLIES IN THE BALTIC : 1854. 



183 



effected more than simply coming safe home again ; 
that almost every single ship, consequent on the 
vast mechanical appliances of our age, was a 
more terrible engine of destruction than any pos- 
sessed by Nelson or Howe ; that if Sveaborg and 
Cronstadt were too formidable, the Allies might 
at least have taken or bombarded Riga, or Revel, 
or Abo. One brilliant debater, in parliament, 
speaking of the inaction of the stupendous fleets 
of the belligerents, drew a comparison with a 
transaction which has been made the subject of 
an epigram.* On the other hand, arguments 
were employed to shew that the advantages 
resulting from the campaign ought not to be 
lightly passed over. It was urged, that the czar 
had been humiliated by the fall of a fortress on 
which he had expended so much time and money ; 
that he had himself destroyed his own works at 
Hango ; that his commerce had been ruined for 
the year ; that the operations at Bomarsund had 
shewn that our sailors and marines had still the 
old mettle left in them ; that the Russian fleet 
had been driven to proclaim itself, if not cowardly, 
at least undignified; that we defied the enemy 
at the very mouth of his guns, but that he would 
not respond; that we had ascertained some impor- 
tant facts concerning the power of iron shot and 
shell against masses of granite ; that we had 
acquired a thorough knowledge of the intricate 
navigation of the Baltic, and of the kind of craft 
which could best thread its mazes ; and that the 
prestige of Russia had been considerably shaken, 
in the eyes of surrounding powers, by the timid 
course adopted by her fleet. 

The discussions on this subject led to a further 
inquiry Whether the admiral-in-chief had been 
duly supplied and supported by the government ? 
Many contended that the force placed at his 
disposal was at once too strong and too weak : too 
strong to justify the Russian fleet in emerging, 
and thereby hazarding a naval engagement; too 
weak to capture or destroy Cronstadt or Sveaborg. 
Even if the Russians had consented to fight in 
open sea, a smaller fleet could have grappled with 
them. On the other hand, there was a defici- 
ency of vessels of light draught, which could have 
approached shoal coasts and ascended creeks and 
rivers; bulky old 74 and 90 gun ships were in 
abundance, while gun -boats and small light- 
draughted vessels were few. The admiral, early 
in the year, had represented the advantage 
derivable from steam gun-boats ; but none were 
ready until the autumn work was ended. Twelve 
thousand troops, although more than were needed 
for the capture of Bomarsund, were less than would 
have been called for at Cronstadt or Sveaborg ; 
hence the military spirit of the French was as little 
satisfied as the naval pride of England, by the 

* The deplorable mismanagement of the English fleet and army 
at Walcheren in 1809 : 

The Earl of Chatham, -with his sword drawn, 
Stood waiting for Sir Richard Strachan ; 
Sir Richard, longing to be at 'em, 
Stood waiting for the Earl of Chatham. 



arrangements made on the part of the respective 
governments. As to the naval operations, so little 
were the first-rate sailing-ships those unprovided 
with steam-power and screw-propellers suited 
to the service required, that they fired very few 
shotted guns throughout the year: the vessels 
which rendered most service being those of 
smaller size. Another circumstance told unfavour- 
ably upon Sir Charles Napier, without involving 
any blame either to himself or to the government. 
An announcement by electric-telegraph was made 
throughout all Europe, during the last week in 
September, that the strong fortress of Sebastopol, 
in the Crimea, at that time besieged by the Allies, 
had fallen ; the news was received as true both 
by nations and governments ; and while the 
excitement lasted, the name of Raglan was placed 
in comparison with that of Napier on men's lips, 
to the evident disadvantage of the admiral. A 
few days sufficed to prove that the report was false, 
and that the time for glorying in achievements 
at Sebastopol had not yet arrived; nevertheless 
the public did not easily recover its good- humour 
concerning the admiral. 

"When the year's operations in the Baltic were 
ended, it speedily became known that a feud 
existed between the admiral and the government, 
or some members of the government. Sir Charles, 
although not openly condemned, was coldly laid 
aside ; and this coldness wounded his professional 
pride. On an occasion when civic hospitality was 
displayed towards some of the officers engaged 
in the war, he expressed his grievances in bitter 
language.* He asserted, that he had had a fleet 
under his command which, though magnificent 
in amount and force, was handed to his keeping 
badly manned and disciplined; that he had, per- 
force, to steer his course with insufficient aid from 
charts and pilotage ; that ' he was quite aware, 
when he went out, that not one-tenth part of what 
was expected could be performed;' that he had 
divided his fleet, as a temptation to the Russian 
ships to emerge from their hiding-places, but they 
would not yield to the temptation ; that an exami- 
nation told him how fruitless an attack on Cron- 
stadt would have been ; that he could have taken 
Bomarsund with his fleet and a few troops, even 
had there been no French army in the Baltic; 
that when a council of war, held at Led Sound, 
determined that no further military conquests could 
be achieved, the Admiralty was dissatisfied with 
the decision; that he wrote to the Admiralty, 
proposing a mode of attacking Sveaborg ; that his 
language was perverted, and himself insulted, in 
letters thereafter received from the government; 
and that the first lord of the Admiralty, after 
warning him against rash attempts upon granite 
fortresses, had reproached him for leaving those 
same fortresses unattacked. The general tenor of the 
speech shewed, not only that a quarrel had arisen 
between the government and the admiral-in-chief 

* Speech at the Mansion House, Feb. 6, 1855. 



NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH. 



in the Baltic, l>ut that the naval and military 
commanders had experienced difficulty in recon- 
ciling conflicting opinions; and that the cabinet 
minister who had so especially complimented the 
a<hniral some months earlier was the same who 
had m\v given him deep offence. 

A spivt-h Mich as this could not escape attention : 
it formed a subject of debate in the House of 
(.'oinmons a few days afterwards.* The ministers 
stated, in reply to a question, that Sir Charles 
Xapier had neither been dismissed from his com- 
mand, nor censured for the mode in which he 
had exercised it ; that he had been placed upon 
half-pay ; and that great licence may properly be 
allowed to the free expression of opinion on the 
part of an officer so placed. In regard to the 
specific allegations, Sir James Graham stated that 
the correspondence which had passed between the 
government and the admiral could not be made 
public without detriment to the public service, since 
it involved the discussion of matters pertaining 
to another Baltic campaign yet to come. It was 
implied, however, that the coldness of the govern- 
ment had arisen, not so much from the admiral's 
proceedings in the war, as from this circumstance 
that 'in his correspondence with the Admiralty he 
had recourse to the use of comments and expressions 
which were considered to be inconsistent with the 
deference due to the authority he was serving.' 
On the 8th of March, an attempt was made, in the 
House of Commons, to obtain copies of such official 
correspondence as might throw light on the causes 
of the disfavour into which the admiral appeared 
to have fallen ; and on this occasion, the member 
who advocated Sir Charles's cause made use of 
official documents without the sanction of the 
government, and of Sir James Graham's private 
letters without the writer's consent. This pro- 
ceeding was severely censured by the ministers ; 
the motion was rejected without a division ; and 
the ministers repeated their former declaration, 
that the admiral's well-earned fame as a naval 
officer remained unspotted ; but that his mode 
of treating the Admiralty, in matters for which 
that department is responsible, could not be borne 
without injury to the public weal. As a proof 
that the government did not wish to imply any 
disapproval of the conduct of Sir Charles Napier 
in his purely naval duties, he was summoned to 
court in July to receive an honorary reward by an 
Order of the Bath ; and, on the other hand, "as a 
proof that the admiral would not acquiesce in the 
ministerial view of the whole question, he declined 
the honour. At a later date, when parliament had 
risen, and when there was no official opportuuity 
for publicly noticing the subject, Sir Charles Napier 
adopted the unusual course of publishing, through 
the medium of the London daily newspapers," a 
series of official letters which had passed between 
him and the first lord of the Admiralty during 
the year 1&54. These letters, whatever else might 

Proceedings of tUe House of Commons, Feb. 1C, 1555. 



be left in doubt, demonstrated that collisions of 
opinion among the commanders in the Baltic 
commenced immediately after the fall of Bomar- 
snnd : thereby lessening the probability of adding 
to the list of great achievements. 



PROCEEDINGS IX AND NEAU THE 
WHITE SEA. 

While a powerful English and French armament 
was confronting Russia in the Baltic, an operation 
of a much humbler kind was in progress in 
another of the seas which wash that empire 
the White Sea. 

So difficult of access are the White Sea and 
its chief port, Archangel ; so unpicturesque and 
inhospitable are its shores ; so few the objects that 
can afford pleasure to a visitor that the region 
is almost unknown in England, except to the 
captains and seamen of trading-ships. That all 
ships from tl>e more flourishing parts of the world 
must pass through a portion of the Arctic Ocean . 
to reach this sea and this port, is a circumstance 
which alone seems to place it almost beyond the 
pale of everyday civilisation. In the early part of 
the present Chapter, the position of the Baltic is 
described in reference to the German Ocean ; it 
will be necessary now to appreciate the relation 
between those waters and the White Sea. 

Northward of the Skager Rack, the rugged coast of 
Norway presents itself, deeply indented with fiords 
or inlets, fringed with a succession of small islands, 
and marked by the towns and ports of Bergen, 
Trondjem, Trornsb, and Hammerfest. Passing the 
Arctic Circle, and bending gradually round to the 
north-east and east, the coast at length reaches the 
North Cape, about latitude 71 degrees ; and here, 
at the northernmost point of Europe, the Atlantic 
may be said to terminate and the Arctic Ocean 
begin. At this spot the coast takes a new 
direction ; it bends south-eastward, passing the 
mouths of the Porsange Fiord, Tana Fiord, and 
Yarauger Fiord, to the mouth of the river Kola, 
and so defining the limits of Finmark and Lapland. 
At Sviato'i Nos begins a broad estuary, bounded on 
the opposite or eastern side by Kauin Nos, belong- 
ing to the country of the Samoi'edes : this estuary 
leads to the White Sea, or Bieloe-More.* The sea 
is in effect a sound or large gulf, nearly semi- 
circular, and having a mouth towards the Arctic 
Ocean about 100 miles in width. The sea expands 
towards its southern end into the two Gulfs of 
Dvina and Onega, called Dviuskai'a and Oneskai'a ; 
west of the Onega Gulf, the sea terminates in an 
inlet, about 100 miles long by -25 in mean breadth. 
Generally speaking, the sea has a good depth of 
water, except on a sand-bank off the mouth of the 
Onega River : it is, however, subject to much fog ; 
and as the ice lingers about the entrance to that 
river from the end of October to the beginning of 

See Map of Russia. 



PROCEEDINGS IN AND NEAR THE WHITE SEA : 1854. 



185 



May, the facilities for maritime trading are limited 
to about six months in the year. This sea, more 
richly supplied with fish than most European seas, 
was not known to western Europeans until 1553 ; 
in which year Richard Chancellor, returning from 
a vain attempt to discover a north-east passage to 
Cathay or China round the north coast of Europe 
and Asia, anchored in the White Sea ; consequent 
on this voyage, an arrangement for maritime trad- 
ing was made between the Czar of Muscovy and a 
company of English merchants. A course of trade 
with the White Sea rapidly sprang up, the Dutch 
and the Hanse Towns, as well as the English, 
carrying thither European and tropical products 
and manufactures in exchange for the fish and 
produce of Northern Russia. The foundation 
of St Petersburg put a check to this trade, by 
diverting a portion of it into a new channel ; and 
throughout the whole of the eighteenth century 
the commerce of the White Sea languished ; but 
under the Emperors Paul, Alexander, and Nicholas, 
during the first half of the nineteenth, it revived 
and became considerable. 

Archangel, or Gorod Arkhangelskoi (' the city of 
St Michael the Archangel'), is the chief town in 
which this trade centres. It is one of the most 
ancient towns in the empire, having been in 
existence somewhat over a thousand years ; and is 
the capital of a province of the same name, one of 
the nineteen governments which constitute ' Great 
Russia.' The port is the principal outlet for the 
fish, caviar, pitch, tar, tallow, train-oil, linseed, 
hemp, flax, bristles, skins, fur, and timber, which 
the northernmost regions of European Russia, and 
the north-west part of Siberia, export to other 
countries. Archangel extends for about two miles 
along a low flat on the right bank of the Dvina 
(there is another river Dvina, more properly called 
Dlina, which falls into the Gulf of Livonia 
at Riga), forty miles above the point where that 
river enters the White Sea. Vessels of large burden 
cannot come up close to the town, on account of a 
sand-bar a little lower down ; but the roadstead, 
in the summer season, is alive with smaller craft 
of every description ; the great road from Siberia 
is busy with travellers and laden carts ; while 
a combined canal and river system, connecting 
Archangel with Moscow, and even with Astrakhan, 
brings varied produce from Central and Southern 
Russia. The inhabitants, somewhat under 
20,000 in number, are mostly engaged in mari- 
time trade or in small handicrafts : few large